7 Best Practices To Avoid Electrical Hazards In The Kitchen

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Published by: Maria Kelley • Updated: September 12, 2023 • Checked By: Chef Matty Riedel

The kitchen is usually the centre of all activities in a typical home, from cooking, talking, or spending quality time with family or friends. Yet, within this hub of creativity lies a network of electrical appliances and systems that power our gastronomic adventures. This blend of culinary endeavours and electrical components makes the kitchen vibrant and vulnerable to hazards. While we often revel in the joys of cooking and bonding, it's equally critical to recognise and respect this room's inherent electrical risks. Ensuring safety becomes paramount with several devices, wires, and plugs coexisting with water and heat. Today, we’ve decided to share a few best practices you may want to follow to avoid electrical hazards in the kitchen.

How To Avoid Electrical Hazards In The Kitchen

1. Maintain A Safe Distance Between Appliances And Water Sources

Since water and electricity often find themselves close in the kitchen, it’s crucial to take precautions. The importance of ensuring a safe distance between the two cannot be overstated. Using electrical appliances near water sources, like the sink, increases the risk of electric shocks, which can be fatal. Moreover, even a slight spill or a splash can seep into the appliance, causing malfunctions, short circuits, or worse. To maintain a safe environment, you can do a few things, such as wiping up spills immediately and ensuring kitchen appliances are placed away from the sink.

2. Arrange Regular Electrical Inspections

Your kitchen’s electrical system can also benefit from regular electrical inspections, such as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), which can be invaluable. You will get an electrical test certificate, ensuring you have peace of mind that you have taken all necessary precautions. If you are wondering ‘how much does an EICR certificate cost?’, you can find out by contacting Hexo Electrical Testing. Typically, the price of an EICR certificate will vary, depending on the size of your property, as well as the size of your electrical system.

3. Avoid Overloading Sockets And Extension Cords

The convenience of modern kitchen gadgets is undeniable. However, the increasing number of appliances often means a tangled mess of cords and overloaded sockets. Overburdening outlets can cause overheating and pose a severe fire hazard. Prioritise essential appliances and unplug those not in use. If you frequently rely on extension cords, upgrading your kitchen's electrical system with additional outlets may be time. Always ensure extension cords are rated for the combined wattage of your appliances.

4. Ensure Proper Storage And Handling Of Appliances

Your kitchen appliances, from the blender to the toaster, need appropriate storage and handling. Improper practices can expose these gadgets to moisture, grease, and other elements, posing potential electrical risks. It’s best to store gadgets in dry, cool places, away from sinks, stoves, or areas where they might come into contact with water. Always handle appliances with dry hands since wet or slightly damp hands increase the risk of electric shock. Ensure cords aren’t dangling over the edge of countertops, where they can be easily pulled or get in contact with liquids. After use, allow appliances to cool down before storing them. This can prevent accidental overheating or damage to the device and its surroundings. 

5. Invest In Quality Appliances

A budget-friendly appliance might seem like a bargain, but cutting corners can come at a high cost. Inferior quality products might not adhere to the stringent safety standards set by the UK, increasing the risk of malfunctions or electrical hazards. To choose the best kitchen appliances, always inspect new appliances for certification marks. Regularly check cords and plugs for wear or damage. Exposed wires or frayed cords should be addressed immediately by replacing the cord or the appliance. Also, you should follow manufacturer guidelines for usage and maintenance. Often, these contain specific safety recommendations tailored to the appliance.

6. Educate And Inform Family Members 

Awareness is one of the most potent tools in preventing electrical hazards. Ensuring all family members, especially children, understand the kitchen's electrical safety basics is vital. Teach children about the dangers associated with electricity and water. Ensure they know never to operate any kitchen appliance without supervision. Discuss the importance of unplugging devices after use. This simple practice can save energy and reduce potential hazards. Also, remember that the kitchen environment changes with new gadgets and setups, so keeping everyone updated is essential.

7. Embrace A Proactive Mindset

Lastly, while appliances and gadgets enhance our kitchen experiences, being mindful of their electrical nature is paramount. A proactive approach to safety, which includes proper observation, thoughtful appliance usage, and continuous education, can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. In the ever-evolving world of kitchen tech, staying updated on safety standards and protocols is as crucial as keeping up with the latest culinary trends. After all, a kitchen prioritising safety is the foundation of a happy and secure home.

Maria Kelley
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