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Posted at January 9, 2020
About 25% of accidents happen in the kitchen. The kitchen poses a high risk of accidents compared to other rooms in the apartment due to various hazards such as burns, cuts, falls, and poisoning. However, by adhering to the following guidelines, it is possible to mitigate these risks and secure your kitchen.
A clean and organized kitchen is less likely to create accidents. First, it's essential to keep hazardous materials like toxic, corrosive products, fragile items, and sharp objects out of the reach of children by storing them in locked cabinets or high up.
Additionally, ensure there is enough counter space to work on. Keeping heavy items like stacks of plates within easy reach for adults avoids the need to climb a stool. Likewise, for fragile items like glasses, it's better to avoid storing them at the back of high cupboards, where retrieving them could lead to breakage and injury.
Burns are a common accident in the kitchen due to hot ovens, boiling water, and simmering pots. However, you can take a few precautions to minimize the risk of burns. For instance, turn pot and pan handles inwards to prevent accidentally catching them while passing by, and always use potholders when taking them. Even better, you could purchase pots with removable handles. Also, keep your face away when opening the oven or lifting a lid. Finally, staying focused while cooking is essential, avoiding distractions caused by other tasks or people around you.
To reduce the risk of cuts, focus solely on the task at hand and use a cutting board to prevent accidental slippage. And place a wet towel below the chopping board to avoid it slipping. Maintaining the sharpness of cutting tools is recommended to prevent exerting more force than necessary and slipping.
It is also important to keep children and pets at a safe distance from potential dangers such as hot stoves and ovens. Ensure they cannot play in or around the kitchen while cooking or baking is in progress. Additionally, consider installing safety gates or barriers to prevent children and pets from accessing the kitchen unsupervised.
It's essential to be prepared for emergencies in the kitchen, like a fire. Ensure a fire extinguisher is in the kitchen, and everyone knows how to use it properly in an emergency. It's also essential to occasionally check the fire extinguisher's expiration date and ensure it's fully charged and easily accessible. Finally, familiarize yourself and your family with the proper techniques for extinguishing different types of fires, such as grease, electrical, or gas.
If, despite your best efforts, an accident still occurs in the kitchen, it's important to know how to respond. Taking a first aid course can teach you how to handle injuries such as burns, cuts, poisoning, and other emergencies. It's also crucial to know who to call in an emergency. Display essential phone numbers in a prominent location in your home, such as
Additionally, find out the contact details of your local poison control center. For example, the number of the Paris Poison Control Centre is 01 40 05 48 48, which is located in the 10th district. Then, when your children are old enough, educate them about these numbers so they can contact emergency services in case of an accident.
Contacting your insurance company may be necessary depending on the severity of the kitchen accident and the coverage provided by your policy.
Accidents can happen. However, several insurance contracts offer protection against these risks, including:
Last, the social security system in France and the mutual health insurance company (mutuelle) can cover medical expenses, hospitalization, and other immediate consequences of a home accident.
In conclusion, remember to prioritize safety in the kitchen and always take precautions to prevent accidents. Following the guidelines mentioned above can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. However, accidents can still happen, so it's essential to know how to respond in an emergency and have the necessary insurance coverage.
Editor: Siyi Chen