Safety First: Six Top Kitchen Dangers
mistakes in the kitchen cause many cuts, burns, and other injuries.
The October 2013 issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports, identifies
the kitchen products that cause the most harm and simple ways to avoid
"It's easy to make a mistake in the kitchen when you're in a rush or
in a post-workday haze," says Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of
ShopSmart. "But there are simple things you can do to avoid landing in
ShopSmart ranked the kitchen products that send the most people to
the emergency room. In descending order, they are: knives, ranges,
cookware, slicers and choppers, microwaves and blenders. Below are some
simple ways to avoid getting hurt when using these products and
appliances. Importantly: Always keep a fire extinguisher with a
minimum 5-B:C rating on hand.
Knives. Dull knives are more dangerous than sharp
ones, so keep knives sharpened and stored in a block. Use a cutting
board that doesn't have a slippery surface, and place a damp towel under
it to keep it from moving.
Ovens/ranges. Install an anti-tip bracket to secure the unit in place. Never place heavy roasts and other food on an open oven door.
Cookware. Always use oven mitts to pick up hot pots
and pans. If a grease fire starts, smother the flames with a cookie
sheet or lid for 10 to 15 minutes to make sure the fire is out.
Slicers and choppers. Don't leave motorized models
on for a long time; they can overheat. Never reach into a slicer or
chopper. Because many parts, including blades, are dishwasher safe,
don't handwash them.
Microwave ovens. Be careful when removing a wrapper
or cover from microwaved food; steam can escape and cause a nasty burn.
Let food cool a minute or two before removing it from the microwave.
Boil water on the stove; water heated in a microwave can become
super-heated and erupt violently without warning.
Blenders. Most blenders don't have safety
interlocks, so don't reach inside, especially if it is plugged in. To
clean blades without touching them, add hot water and a bit of
dishwashing liquid to the blender container and let it run on high for a
minute, then rinse. If the blender has a container that disassembles,
wash the parts in the dishwasher, as the rubber gasket can harbor