KITCHEN SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
A kitchen commonly has sharp knives that can hurt, boiling water or hot food that can scald, and water spills or fruit peels upon which an unsuspecting person can slip or fall. Inflammable materials such as gas, kerosene, matchboxes, cooking oil etc. are also stored in kitchen making it potentially the most danger prone area in a house.
Do not allow young children to use the kitchen as a play area even when no cooking is being done.
Kitchen should be well lit.
All kitchen appliances should be of good quality, properly grounded electrically and their instruction sheets, warranty papers and purchase receipts should be kept in a file properly.
Kitchen wiring should be extra heavy to carry the excessive load required by grinders, toasters, ovens, mixers etc. Enough electrical outlets should be provided in the kitchen so that multiple appliances do not have to be connected to one outlet only which can cause overdrawing of current from that outlet and lead to a blown fuse or even a fire too.
Use cushioned non-slip flooring.
Keep a locked first-aid box at hand in kitchen.
Fit bolts that only adults can reach, on doors.
GAS BURNERS AND KEROSENE STOVES
Synthetic garments should never be worn while working near a stove or an open fire as they catch fire fast and while burning stick to the body. They can not be removed without peeling off the skin and even some of the raw flesh underneath. This severely increases the hazards to which a burn patient is exposed. If at all, synthetic clothes must be worn, a cotton apron should be tied tightly on top, just like the ones worn by chefs in hotels.
Whenever you smell gas in the kitchen or house, do not turn on or off any light or any other electrical appliance. Avoid lighting a match-stick, candle, cigarette, etc. A single spark can lead to fire and an explosion. Do not panic.
Your first priority must be to cut off the flow of gas. If there is a strong smell of gas
(1) Turn off the main gas tap next to the meter / cylinder.
(2) Open the doors and windows.
(3) Put out cigarettes or naked flames and switch off electric appliances.
(4) Get the unconscious person into the open air and put him in the recovery position.
(5) Telephone your local area gas office immediately – day or night. Find it under ‘Gas’ in the phone book.
• Do not try to trace the leak with a naked flame (Match or lighter).
• Do not enter a room or area where the smell of gas is especially strong. The build-up of fumes may overpower you.
If there is a slight smell of gas
(1) Trace the source immediately. Often the pilot light on a cooker or gas fire has gone out, or a burner on the cooker has blown out in a draught.
(2) Turn off the pilot light or burner. If the pilot light does not have a tap, turn off the main gas tap next to the meter / cylinder.
(3) Put out cigarettes, extinguish naked flames; switch off any electric equipment in the room.
(4) Open doors and windows to let the gas disperse. Wait for the smell to go.
(5) Relight the pilot light or burner.
(6) If the smell persists or returns, telephone your local area gas office immediately — day or night.
(7) Do not attempt repairs yourself.
Gas companies and manufacturers of gas burners give very detailed and informative brochures on the safe use of gas cylinders. These should be followed for installation, testing, use and storage of gas cylinders in the house. The rubber pipe should be visually examined atleast once a week to see that it does not have any crack or that it has not been chewed up by cockroaches etc. It should be replaced frequently to avoid a major leak.
A good vent, exhaust fan or windows are a must for kitchen for the easy dispersal of smoke, gases, food odours and other bad smells. Sufficient fresh air circulation should be ensured to prevent accumulation of carbon monoxide which can prove quite harmful for health.
Following safety precautions for use of Kerosene stoves can prove to be quite beneficial :
(1) Avoid using re-soldered burners and ensure that oil container is made of a seamless metal sheet, without any manufacturing defects.
(2) Do not overpump the stoves, lest it bursts and burns people nearby. Preferably operate stoves at medium pressure.
(3) Avoid overheating stoves by long and continuous use.
(4) Do not try to refill them with kerosene while they are ignited or still hot.
(5) Avoid placing them on the floor since they can easily get knocked over, especially by children.
(6) Check the joints regularly for leaks.
(7) Avoid using a cooking stove as a room heater because it can be very dangerous and fatal too.
(8) Store kerosene away from stove and other sources of heat.
(9) The handles of pots and pans used during cooking should be turned inwards towards the walls, as hot pans may be knocked down by a child or a cook in hurry, if their handles arc jutting out of cooking platform.
(10) Keep matchboxes away from stove and burners. I hey could catch fire spontaneously.