Kitchen Electrical Safety For The Holidays
The holidays are upon us once again. And as you plan parties, have family gatherings, and in general. spend more time at home, your kitchen appliances will get a workout.
But are they safe for you to use?
Or are you putting your family at risk every time you start preparing a holiday meal?
Electricity is something we take for granted. It’s there, and it works. But over the years, your plugs, outlets, and switches take a lot of abuse. And at times can turn into potential hazards. Consider these common problems and ways to stay safe in the process:
Never overload a plug. If outlets or switches ever feel warm, blow fuses, or flicker or dim, it could be a sign of faulty wiring. A qualified electrician should check it out.
Extension cords are safety hazards; they can be tripping hazards, they can cause fires, they can overload your circuits, and more. Instead of using extension cords, consider adding additional outlets or circuits to make it easier to function in your kitchen. We’ve added a lot of technology and appliances over the years, and some kitchens simply weren’t designed with that in mind. Current electrical code has been modified many times over in attempts to eliminate the need for extension cords. Outlet placement in a home should never require you to use an extension cord.
A key way to assure proper protection, and safety, is by making sure all outlets in a kitchen are protected by GFCI. These are specially designed to eliminate electrical shock to humans, but most especially in all damp/wet locations. They are required in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry areas, garages, unfinished areas of the home, and on all exterior electrical outlets. If your kitchen doesn’t have at least one of the square outlets with two buttons on them, saying test and reset, then you should have a qualified electrician take a look at your electrical system.
Keep an eye on what you’re cooking and never walk away. Avoid distractions like television or cell phones. Keep children away from potential problem areas.
Place all items that can catch fire, such as potholders, towels, oven mitts, loose clothing, and other flammable items a safe distance from electrical outlets and cooking areas.
Follow all appliance manufacturer’s instructions when plugging it into an outlet.
When unplugging an appliance, never pull the cord. Pull from the plug instead.
Test your smoke detectors before this holiday season to ensure they are in proper working condition.
Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Be sure it’s easily accessible, and that everyone in the home knows where it is and how to use it.
Check to make sure all cooking surfaces and appliances are properly turned off, unplugged, and stored before leaving the kitchen.
Stay safe this holiday season. Consider an electrical home inspection to ensure that your home is safe and secure in all that you do.