Many of us cook everyday. As we bake, boil, and fry, we may not always pay attention to our surroundings and an accident could happen. And the danger is real. Although you may think your kitchen is perfectly safe, you may be unintentionally taking risks with your family’s safety. Here are 10 of our cooking safety tips to ensure your kitchen stays hazard-free.

Soiled Surfaces

Leftover food and grease should never be left on the range or in an oven after you finish cooking. Wipe these items clean before cooking again. Otherwise, they pose a potential fire hazard.

Pet Free Zones

Although you may love cooking with your cat Fluffy by your side, put her down off the countertops. Pets have been known to knock over things directly into burners.

Too Many Appliances

Cooks may feel that they can never have enough gadgets to help them prepare their meals. However, overloaded circuits could lead to electrical fires. Avoid using extension cords and power strips to run kitchen appliances.

According to the National Fire Protection Association , cooking fires are the number one cause of residential fires and injuries.

Clear the Area

As you run around the kitchen, it’s easy to set things down around the stove and forget about it. Bags, potholders, food wrappers, and wooden utensils are just a few examples of objects that should not be anywhere close to the range.

Hood Dangers

Many people don’t bothering turning on the fans found in their range hoods while cooking. Don’t put your family at risk of exposure to dangerous levels of toxins. According to a study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “Each week, 12 million residents of California are exposed to indoor nitrogen dioxide levels that surpass state and national air quality standards; for carbon monoxide, the figure is 1.7 million.”

Closed Windows

Keeping the windows shut in your home while cooking is just as dangerous as not turning on the fan. Poor ventilation builds up toxins in the air.

Leaving Food Unattended

One of the most dangerous things you can do is walk away from the stove while frying, broiling or grilling. Avoid leaving the oven on as well if you are out of the house.

Non-Stick Cookware

Although many of us have non-stick cookware within our kitchens, the coating on these pans can actually release dangerous fumes into the air. Cast iron skillets are a safer bet.

Microwave Dangers

Your mother may have always warned you about standing in front of the microwave, but she wasn’t merely trying to scare you. If microwaves are malfunctioning, they can leak small to moderate amounts of radiation.

No Detectors

Not having reliable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home poses a serious risk to the safety of your family and home. Never rely on cheap battery-operated detectors. Instead, choose a monitored detector with the ability to alert the fire department in case of an emergency.

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