Make sure safety is on your holiday menu this year
The kitchen can be a busy place during the holiday season, prepping and preparing favorite recipes (or sampling those favorite recipes).
Whether you are a seasoned cook or novice baker, it’s important to keep electrical safety in mind. In the United States alone, approximately 1,000 deaths occur each year as a result of electrical injuries, according to the National Institutes of Health. An additional non-fatal 30,000 shock incidents occur each year.
The following kitchen hazards may cause electric shock:
- Damaged or worn electrical cords.
- Equipment and appliances with improper or faulty wiring.
- Using damp cloths or water for cooking or cleaning near sources of electricity.
The following tips may prevent electric shock in your home:
- Always read and follow an appliance’s operating instructions.
- Always dry your hands before handling cords or plugs.
- If an unplugged appliance cord gets wet or damp, don’t plug it in until it is thoroughly dry.
- Do not handle electrical cords or appliances when standing in water.
- Pull on the plug, not the cord, to disconnect an appliance from an outlet.
- To avoid damaging cords, don’t run them across walkways or underneath rugs. Draping them over walkways is also a tripping hazard.
- Regularly inspect electrical cords and plugs for damaged insulation and exposed wiring; immediately discard any damaged item. Avoid using any cord or plug that is frayed, cracked, taped or otherwise questionable.
- Only handle the insulated part of a plug or cord when disposing it.
- Do not overload extension cords, multi-pack “power strips” or surge protectors with too many appliances or other items or plug them into each other. Use them only as a temporary solution, and not a permanent one.
- Ensure extension cords, power strips and surge protectors are in good condition and the appropriate gauge for the job (the lower the number, the bigger the gauge and the greater
- the amperage and wattage).
- Never remove the third (round or U-shaped) prong from a plug, which is a grounding/ safety feature designed to reduce the risk of shock and electrocution.
- If you have doubts about your home’s electrical system, have a licensed electrician evaluate wiring, outlets, and switches to verify they are in working order.
- Educate yourself and everyone in your household on how to properly turn off your home’s power in case of an emergency.