Out Of the 11,037(number of Fire Accidents), deaths due to fire was 10,915 in India in 2019. In 2020, out of the 9,329 (number of Fire Accidents),death due to fire was 9,110. 58% of the deaths were reported from residential buildings.
(Source: National Crimes Records Bureau)
News articles regarding accidents in the kitchen such as gas explosions, fire, burn injuries from hot oil or boiling water are fairly common these days. Yet, many incidents are not reported and so not in public knowledge. Most of the accidents are due to human error and can be avoided with a little care. And that care can Save Our families from suffering, pain and loss.
As we know, the kitchen is an important area in each of our homes. While everybody is involved in kitchen activities to some extent or the other, it is mostly women who spend more time in the kitchen.
Safety rules in the kitchen is very important, as like a workshop or a laboratory, there is almost constant activity in that zone. It is important to keep our kitchen safe to work. It is also important to work safely in the kitchen to avoid any incident.
From the safety aspect, what are the hazards or potential hazards in our kitchen?
Some of them are as follows:
- Wet floor
- Sharp edges of the shelves and doors
- Sharp instruments like knives, cutters and choppers, etc.
- Cooking gas
- Gas stove when ON
- Electrical oven
- Mixer and grinder
- Awkward position of kitchen sink and taps
- Overhead storage
- Smoke, fumes, steam, dust, etc.
- Hot water, hot oil and steam
- Scattered home appliances due to poor housekeeping
- Loose cloth
- Long Hair
- Children entering the kitchen
- Lack of fresh air
The list goes on… and it varies as per the standard of living.
What are the effect/consequences of these potential hazards in our Kitchen?
Let us check what could be the consequences or dangers because of the potential hazards mentioned above :
- Fire/explosion of cooking gas
- Electrical Fire
- Spilling of hot oil/water over stove
- Burning of utensils due to insufficient water while on the hot plate
- Burning from hot water, hot oil and steam, etc.
- Lack of fresh air
- Ergonomic hazards due to continuous work for prolonged periods with poor Posture
What can we do to make our Kitchen Safe?
The following measures will help make our home safe:-
- Educate all members of our home.
- Housekeeping in the kitchen is very important. It does not only mean a clean kitchen but keeping everything in order and in its own place.
- Keep the kitchen floor dry while working.
- Ensure no leakage of water connections.
- Ensure sufficient lighting.
- Keep children away and ensure their safety.
- Do not allow babies in kitchen.
- All home appliances should be of standard quality.
- Electrical connections are to be correctly installed.
- If a fire extinguisher is available, position it in an easily accessible way.
- Ensure awareness on how to operate the fire extinguisher.
- Ensure all sharp edges are kept with a safe protective cover.
- Store heavy items at the lower levels and lighter items at the upper levels.
- Ensure periodical maintenance of kitchen appliances such as refrigerator, gas stove, etc.
- Electrical cables are to be kept safely and neatly to avoid the possibility of tripping and falling.
- Ensure proper ventilation.
- Keep first aid easily accessible.
- In case of fire, use the fire extinguisher if available and you are able to operate it. If not, immediately escape and call for help.
When you enter the kitchen, if you get any smell of gas, then do not turn ON the stove or any switches. Open all windows and doors, ensure the gas cylinder is closed. When you feel comfortable check for any gas leak or pipe damage. Do not attempt any repair of the gas pipe. Call the authorized agency for rectification.
Make your Kitchen Safe so that your Family can be Safe.
This article is coming up next, in our upcoming B-Proactive EHS magazine (25th Issue)along with many other enlightening articles, which we are sure will help in guiding our safety professionals all over the world.