Learning how to feed yourself is a life skill that everyone needs. It involves shopping, prepping, cooking and cleanup. While it may seem easy, working in a kitchen can be dangerous.

How can you make sure you don’t get injured in the kitchen? Kitchen safety starts with knowledge and awareness. Being safe in the kitchen is an important lesson for every family member. There are kitchen safety tips that you, your kids, and partner should learn. Your familiarity ensures no one gets hurt while spending time in the busiest room of your house.

Here are seven kitchen safety tips to prevent all types of accidents:

Tip #1: Dress in the kitchen.

Cooking doesn’t require formal wear, but you should pay attention to the clothes you wear when working in the kitchen. You don’t want anything to get in the way of what you are doing, and at the same time, you want protection. Here is what you need:

  • Footwear: It may seem like a bother to put on shoes when going to the kitchen for a drink, but you should protect your feet if you are working on a meal. Foot injuries can happen from a falling knife or broken glass. Even spilled liquids can quickly become a hazard.
  • Loose Sleeves: When using a knife, you don’t want your sleeve to catch the handle and cause you to cut yourself. Also, you could snag the handle of a hot pan and dump it onto you.
  • Oven Mitts: Always use oven mitts when grabbing something out of the oven or even a hot handle on the stove. Straining boiling water is another reason to wear oven mitts.
  • Hair Clip: If you have long hair, you should use a clip to keep it out of your way while cooking.

Tip #2: Wash everything in the kitchen.

When handling food, make sure to wash your hands first. Food-borne illnesses can be serious, and you don’t want to be the cause of it, so always wash your hands after touching raw meat and use hot, soapy water when using the washroom.

Your cutting board can be where bacteria grows, so always wash it before and after use. It’s also good to have a separate board for handling raw meat. Your knives and cooking utensils need to be kept clean too. If you can’t run them through the dishwasher, hand wash them with hot water and dish soap. Keep your counters clean as well.

Tip #3: Proper knife skills.

Your knife is a sharp tool that can easily cut you if you handle it unsafely. Learn how to hold your knife and the proper techniques for holding food you are slicing. Gripping the blade of larger knives gives you better control than just holding the handle.

Also, make sure your knife is sharp before using it because a dull knife is way more dangerous. Use the right-sized knife for the job too. This keeps you safe and allows you to better handle the food items you are processing.

Tip #4: Keep pets & kids out of the kitchen.

When using knives and cooking food, you have no time to watch kids. They can reach and grab handles hanging over the stove and quickly get injured. Pets roam around on their own and can be a distraction and a tripping hazard for you in the kitchen.

It’s best to keep them all out while you are working with food so you can concentrate on your tasks.

Tip #5: Have a fire extinguisher and smoke detector.

Fires can flare up fast when cooking with oils or if there is food residue left behind in an oven, and you need to be ready to put out a fire if it happens. Ensure a kitchen fire extinguisher is mounted on the wall and a kitchen fire blanket in the pantry. Read the instructions so you know how to operate them.

Smoke detectors are required in all homes and crucial in your kitchen. We all can get distracted and may not be giving our full attention to cooking. A smoke detector is there to alert you when something is burning, and it gives you time to safely put out any fires from overheating in the kitchen. They are a must-have to keep you and your family alerted when a fire breaks out, and they save lives.

Tip #6: Clean up the kitchen as you work.

When working in a kitchen, you will have many items and scraps to get rid of. Don’t wait until the end of the cooking to clean up your workstation. This could be vegetable ends or empty cans and bottles that should be thrown into the garbage bin. This goes the same for spills too. Wipe them up as soon as they happen to prevent a slip and fall accident.

When you have a clean workstation, cooking is a more pleasant experience, and you can see what you are doing. Never have a dirty kitchen!

Tip #7: Don’t be in a hurry.

Cooking should be a good experience because you prepare food for yourself and your family. Take the time to enjoy what you are making and take it slow. Many accidents happen when you rush to get things cooked, and cuts, spills, and breakage can easily be avoided by slowing down.