Safety First Kitchen Design
Your kitchen – while one of the most useful and most frequently used spaces in your home – is also likely to be one of the most dangerous, too. Think about all the sharp tools and raw foods you are likely to be preparing! Therefore, it always makes sense to have some form of safety strategy in place to ensure that you are your family are protected from nasty spillages, cuts, and even food poisoning.
But what about your kitchen design? Yes – believe it or not, your ‘safety first’ approach in the kitchen should start with how you set up your room in the first place. It’s all well and good to practice simple safety once your kitchen is up and running, but what if your space isn’t safety conscious in the first place?
In this guide, we’ll take a look at a few tips for kitchen design which may help to enhance the way you use your utensils, food storage and more besides. Are you positive you are doing enough to keep your kitchen safe? Let’s take a look and see.
What are the Six Kitchen Safety Basics?
Before we consider a few ideas, let’s make sure you are up to speed on what the cooking and preparation safety basics are in any kitchen space. You may already be putting these to use – in which case, fantastic! If not, it’s time to make like the wind and start brushing up on your protection.
- Keep counters and worktops free from clutter and unnecessary items and utensils
- Always close your drawers and cupboards
- Keep clothing tied down – don’t let anything dangle or flap around
- Make sure you are focusing on what you are doing at all times
- Store low and heavy, and high and light
- Learn how to use your tools and utensils properly
As you can imagine, there are a few safety design essentials you can put into place which will ensure you are keeping to the six basics. It’s not all about turning off appliances when you’re not using them!
Fantastic Kitchen Designing Safety Tips
When it comes to setting up and designing a kitchen, you’re going to need to make sure that it’s quick and easy to adhere to all of the above points. No matter the food you prepare and no matter the appliances you use, you’re going to need to exercise caution.
Here are some great kitchen planning tips to help you get started.
- Store and stack as much as you can vertically. This helps to keep pots and pans off your countertops and out of your working area. A cluttered worktop is an unsafe worktop! What’s more, this is also likely to help drive down the amount of time you search for pans, colanders and otherwise.
- Use auto-close or slow-close cabinets. Don’t leave cupboards open while cooking. It’s a bad habit that’s hard to break, but it’s potentially very dangerous. (I was guilty of this, until we had our new kitchen installed with soft close doors, and frequently told off by my partner) Why raise the risk (or row)? Install slow-closing doors which, after you release them, close on their own.
- It’s also worth using locked cabinets. This is especially worthwhile if you have young and curious children wandering around!
- Keep sharp storage low down. While you may find it convenient to have a knife block or rack at head-height, all it takes is a stray movement to send things flying. Therefore, try and keep knife drawers and sharp implements in drawers or in blocks on your worktop at waist height if you can.
- Consider fire safety when setting up a kitchen. You’re going to need to keep your cooker and fridge freezer apart to ensure that they ventilate properly. What’s more, you should never position a stove or cooker near a window. The moment a stray curtain drifts onto a burning hob, you’re going to be in trouble!
- Keep appliance cables – and appliances altogether – away from the sink. Yes, there are many kitchens out there which place electric items closer to the washing up zone than they probably should – but this is no excuse to follow suit. Electricity and water do not mix – full stop.
- Keep spaces clear and open. Consider how much room you are going to need when cooking at home. There are some pretty pokey kitchen spaces out there, but they work well as they are still easy enough to move around in. You don’t need masses of space, but any chances of you knocking into worktops and busy hobs must be avoided at all costs.
- Focus, again, on fire safety. Install a smoke alarm. Make sure that you have a ventilator or extractor fan in place. Keep fire blankets and extinguishers on standby in a handy kitchen cabinet. Make sure you know how to put out fires with appliances. Most crucially, keep a clear fire exit in play – if a blaze gets out of control, you must leave your food and appliances behind and get out as soon as possible.
- Keep worktops easy to clean. When preparing raw food, you must make sure you are able to clean away efficiently and at short notice. Choose countertops in materials which wipe down without fuss. Food safety is incredibly important, even when it comes to setting up home kitchen safety at the planning stages!
Kitchen Safety Tips: Round-up
- Keep your worktops clutter-free
- Don’t leave cupboard doors open when cooking
- Don’t keep knife blocks or magnetic knife strips high upkeep on worktops/ waist height
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm, extractor or ventilator fan and/or a fire extinguisher/ blanket
- Keep your worktops clean at all times.
Share Some Tips!
We’d like to hear more from you, our readers, regarding kitchen protection and safety ideas. It’s not always easy making sure that your space is clear and clean of clutter, especially if you have a large family. However, there are more than a few ways you can ensure your food preparation standards are healthy, and that you are doing enough to store potentially harmful objects out of the way.
Take care in your kitchen – it can be hard work to stay safe, but the search for protective standards and fixtures may just save your life. Don’t let your love of food – and kitchen work – be your downfall! Share a few safety ideas with us below, too – you can never be too careful.
If you are in the early stages of designing your kitchen you may like to read our How to Design a Kitchen to Stand the Test of Time guide.