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OLDER ADULTS – KITCHEN SAFETY

A LITTLE PREPARATION GOES A LONG WAY

YOU’RE COOKING NOW

BUT MAKE SURE YOU’RE DOING IT SAFELY

Senior cooking dinner

MOST HOUSE FIRES BEGIN IN THE KITCHEN

With all the ignition and heat sources in your average kitchen, it makes sense that most house fires begin in the kitchen. And it also stands to reason, that most kitchen fires start out small. Being prepared and having a few simple tools on hand can help you douse a small fire before it turns into something unmanageable.

TOOLS TO KEEP IN YOUR KITCHEN

  1. A fire extinguisher – the best fire suppression tool you can own. Make sure you keep your fully charged. Learn more here
  2. Baking soda – it’s not just to help make your biscuits rise, it’s also a fantastic fire suppressant. In fact, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) is the active ingredient in many fire extinguishers. Keep a box by your stove to smother small grease fires.
  3. Pot lids and Cookie Sheets – if you don’t have baking soda at the ready, carefully slide a pot lid or cookie sheet over a grease fire. This should deny the fire oxygen and put it out.

WHAT NOT TO DO WITH A GREASE FIRE

  1. NEVER try to move a pan containing food that’s on fire! Don’t try to take it to the sink pour water on it. Don’t try to move it outdoors. This will spread the hot grease and burning fuel and you could burn yourself while you’re wrestling with the hot pan. LEAVE the pan on the stove. Turn off the burner, and smother the fire with baking soda or a pot lid. There’s time to clean up the mess once the fire’s out.
  2. NEVER put water on a grease fire. As you can see in the short safety film on this page, water and grease DO NOT MIX.

WHEN NOT TO COOK

  1. If you’re tired – it’s probably best to pour a bowl of cereal or call for some take out. Cooking while drowsy is a recipe for disaster.
  2. If you’re on medication that makes you drowsy or alters you in any way – see above.
  3. When you’re wearing loose clothing or dangling ties or jewelry. It’s surprisingly easy to set fire to your favorite silk bathrobe as your reaching over a stove flame to fry bacon. And if you like looking dapper while cooking, stick to bow ties!

MEMORY AIDS

We can all be forgetful at times. But forgetting things bubbling away in the kitchen could turn into an emergency. Here are some things to help you remember.

  1. Set the timer – even if you’re not timing anything specific, when that timer goes off, you know you’ll need to go back into the kitchen to check on things.
  2. Tuck a spoon or hot mitt in your pocket. It will prompt you to return to the kitchen.
  3. Make a final kitchen check part of your nightly, pre-bedtime routine. Returning to the kitchen for one last safety check will provide you peace of mind.
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