SAFETY WHEN COOKING
By Damian Brady
4th April 2012
The long summer evenings beckon with the sound of busy lawn mowers. With our recent good spell of weather my nose was pleasantly surprised with that lovely BBQ aroma and hearing the children outdoors having fun is a great lift to our spirits. In these recessionary times not many of us get the luxury of eating out as often as we might like. With this in mind, more and more of us are picking up those cookery books and maybe even get to watch the odd “30 Minute Meal“ TV programmes. Time preparing food in the kitchen is meant to be fun time and we certainly don’t want it turn into disaster time. Common sense should be a key ingredient in the cooking arena. General caution should be adhered to. Here are some fire safety tips when cooking so we don’t make our fun time turn into panic and disaster.
The AA home insurance offers such good advice as
- Always keeps an eye on food whilst it’s being heated.
- Keep children away from appliances when cooking.
- Roll-up sleeves or, if possible, wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking.
- Try not to reach over the cooker.
- Turn handles inward so pots and pans won't be pulled or knocked off the cooker.
- Have a professional technician inspect your heating, cooling, and water appliances annually.
- Have the fireplace chimney checked and cleaned routinely by a chimney "sweep" at least once a year.
Other useful tips include:
– to wear shoes also to prevent slipping and to protect your feet from any sharp object that may fall
– as well as children keep pets away from cooking appliances
– be careful of hot water , flames & hot surfaces
– be careful of paper towels, dish cloths and any other easily combustible material
In an article from the Meath county council, it states that most house fires start in the kitchen. We all may want a new kitchen but this is not the way to obtain one. Appliances must be indecently plugged into wall sockets and not “daisy chained” together. We all may have at some stage left cooking unattended which unfortunately can be fatal. Have you ever come in late at night perhaps after a few drinks and cranked up the oven or worse the chip pan to be awoken to the smoke alarm? The old style chip pans are lethal and can easily ignite especially if the oil hasn’t being changed regularly. Take my advice; use oven chips which are healthier or at least use a deep fat fryer with a control thermostat. Keep cooking appliances such as toasters, hobbs clean & clear of stale food etc.
Have a fire safety plan in place and if in doubt GET OUT, STAY OUT and GET THAT FIRE BRIGADE OUT. Having a fire blanket and fire extinguisher handy can evade a disaster; never ignore a smoke alarm assuming it’s a false alarm as this only puts you and others at risk.
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