Home Safety in the Kitchen: Burn and Fall Prevention

Family Caregiving September 23, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Have you ever had an accident in the kitchen? Two common kitchen accidents are falls and burns. There are a number of things we can do to prevent these accidental injuries in the kitchen. The following are ideas to help burn and fall prevention in the kitchen.

Burn Prevention

  • Make certain the range is located so that curtains cannot fall onto the burner.
  • Don’t hang towels on oven handles close to a burner.
  • Oven controls should be located on the front or side of the oven, so that you don’t have to reach over burners.
  • When you cook:
    • Turn pan handles away from other burners and the edge of the range.
    • Do not wear garments with long, loose sleeves. Roll back your sleeves or use a rubber band to keep sleeves from dropping down onto hot surface or flame.
  • Do not store cooking utensils above the range, as you will have to reach over the flame to retrieve them.
  • Keep hot pads and pan holders near the range.
  • Use a safety hook to slide the baking rack out in order to retrieve hot foods without burning yourself.
  • Use a microwave for food preparation, whenever possible. Only operate the microwave when there is food in it.
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher near the stove. Make certain that you know how to use it and that it is properly charged.
  • Cover any exposed hot water pipes under the sink.
  • Smoke alarms should be present in your home and in working order. To help remember to keep fresh batteries, mark replacement dates on your calendar yearly. Many people change batteries during daylight savings time.

Fall Prevention

  • Light switches should be located near the entrance of the kitchen. Turn the light on before you enter — never enter a dark room.
  • The floor surface should not be slippery and should be non-glare.
  • Keep frequently used items within reach, so that you don’t have to use a step stool.
  • If you must stand on something in order to reach an item, do not use a chair.
    • Use a sturdy, stable step stool with handrails, so that you can hold on while standing on the top step. **Make certain that the step stool is fully opened and stable before you climb on top.
    • Make certain all screws and braces are tight.
    • Do not step near the edge on the steps, step in the center of the step.
    • Never use a stool with broken or missing parts.
  • Keep drawers and cabinet doors closed when not in use.
  • Eliminate all throw rugs. If you do use rugs, they should have a non-skid backing and should not be placed in traffic areas.
  • Wipe up all grease or liquid spills immediately.

For additional resources and information, watch this short video on Fall Prevention in the Home. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a clearinghouse for fall prevention resources.

 

 

Click on one of the following links to explore various accessibility and safety concerns and solutions related to the kitchen.

  • Introduction
  • Vision Changes
  • Burn and Fall Prevention
  • Adaptations
  • Storage Considerations

 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.