Seven critical rules for kitchen safety

"More than six million people in the UK had a cooking accident or caused damage to their kitchen as a result of copying the professional cooking techniques of TV chefs."

Seriously.

And you would not believe what some of the accidents are.

According to research commissioned by esure home insurance, in an effort to emulate celebrity chefs, home cooks are slipping on everything from "... peelings and spilt liquids ..." running to and from the kitchen to the TV in the living room to injuring themselves chopping furiously just like their chef heroes.

How to cook safely
Here are the best tips for kitchen safety from the research. But, based on the above, I would also suggest that if you want to follow a television chef, you might want to get a kitchen TV.
  • Always wear oven gloves (avoid using tea towels or other improvisations) when removing hot items from the oven or microwave.
  • Make sure knives and other sharp equipment are stored safely. Knife blocks are a good idea for sharper knives so that injuries are avoided when reaching into drawers.
  • Ensure kitchen floors are cleared of all clutter before you begin, so there are no hazards to trip over. If you spill something on the floor, make sure you clean it up immediately.
  • Preparation is key - read through recipes in advance and always make sure you have sufficient time to create dishes safely. Rushing simply leads to more spillages and accidents.
  • Turn saucepan handles away from the edge of the work surface so you don’t knock them.
  • Make sure you have a smoke alarm fitted and that it’s checked regularly. If anything burns in the oven it will alert you immediately and help prevent fires.
  • Always have fire extinguishers available and make sure you know how to use them - if a fire does develop in a pot or pan, turn off the heat; cover it with a fire blanket and leave it to cool
And, if all else fails, be sure to keep a first aid kit nearby if possible.