Kitchen Safety Tips

While preparing food and making your favorite dish in the kitchen is fun and enjoyable, it is important to follow basic kitchen safety rules. There are countless hazards lying around which could lead to an accident and injury. From sharp knives that could be left lying around, being exposed to an open flame from the oven or stovetop, the use of electrical appliances, and even bacteria in your kitchen.

To prevent harm to yourself and to those around you, it is vital that we pay attention to what we are doing, what is going on around us (especially if there are kids nearby), have a proper plan and system in place when cooking, and have the right safety equipment.

Wear safe clothing and hair

  1. The sleeves of your clothes should not be long if so, fold them back.
  2. Loose clothes could get into the food or flame.
  3. Long hair should be tied back and held in place with a net or scarf, so it doesn’t enter the food or flame.
  4. Synthetic fabrics and hair extensions and wigs are particularly dangerous. They easily catch fire and when they melt as they burn, sticking to the skin so be extra careful and vigilant.
  5. Jewellery shouldn’t be dangling e.g bracelet, it can get caught or tangled with a pot handle.

Human traffic in the kitchen

  1. Do not rush around the kitchen especially when moving hot pots.
  2. Keep kids and pets out of the kitchen. They are a distraction and can hurt themselves or you.
  3. If you are teaching kids to cook, no cutting, heating or use of appliances for them until they are old enough.
  4. Make sure there is always a vigilant adult with kids in the kitchen.
  5. Teach children to respect the kitchen and fire, nothing there is a toy.

Concentration and Distraction

  1. Do not cook under the influence of drugs, medications that can alter the state of your mind, cause drowsiness etc.
  2. Do not cook under the influence of alcohol.
  3. When under extreme stress, take care of yourself first before venturing into the kitchen to cook, remember, self-preservation is the first law of nature.
  4. Do not make unnecessary and extensive phone calls while cooking.
  5. Always make sure all oven and cooker dials are turned off when you finish cooking.
  6. For kerosene stoves, wood or charcoal burners, be sure that there is no life flame burning or smoldering when you finish cooking.

 Know your limits and don’t take undue risks. 

  1. Be careful and know your limits when lifting heavy pots especially hot ones.
  2. Do not underestimate the weight of the pot.
  3. Use oven mitts, dish cloth or kitchen napkins to lift or handle hot pots and pans.
  4. Also, when pulling things out of the microwave, they can be surprisingly hot.
  5. Do not use the end of your wrapper or a wet cloth to carry hot pots or pans. A wet fabric will transmit heat more readily than a dry one.


  1. Treat knives with respect.
  2. Use sharp knives and never blunt ones. Sharp knives are safer than blunt ones, they will not slip when cutting.
  3. Go slowly when cutting with a knife until you have learnt to cut like a chef and even then until you are confident enough.
  4. Handle your knives with dry hands. Both knife handle and your palms should be dry.
  5. Always point your knife downwards when holding it or walking with one in your hand.
  6. Do not put knives in a sink or bowl of soapy water, you might not remember it is there.

Equipment (Appliances) safety

  1. Read instructions for appliances and follow carefully.
  2. Unplug appliances when not in use.
  3. Change frayed cords of appliances.
  4. Be sure cords of appliances are not hanging loosely over the counter.
  5. Do not put electrical appliances in or near water to avoid electric shocks.
  6. Do not handle sockets and switches with wet hands.
  7. Always service, clean and be sure appliances are in good working condition to avoid accidents and fires.
  8. Do not put fingers into blenders, food processors, mixers and grinders, if you must, unplug from socket.

Kitchen floor and counters

  1. Clean spills, water, oil, food, cooking spray, kerosene etc. on the floor as soon as they happen to prevent falls which might involve falling into something dangerous.
  2. Do not leave toys or utensils lying on the floor.
  3. Use a stepping stool to reach high and hard to see places, this can prevent you from knocking something down which can land on your head.


  1. Steam can burn just like boiling water, so when opening a pot of boiling liquid, pull cover towards you.
  2. Be careful when opening hot food parcels straight out of the oven.
  3. When pouring out hot food into a sieve e.g pasta, rice, pour away from you and always wear a mitt or use a dishcloth.


  1. Do not spray any aerosol (insecticide etc.) when there is a naked flame in the kitchen.
  2. Always extinguish your matches properly before throwing it into the bin. (I leave mine on the stove top until I am done cooking then I wipe with water when I am cleaning the cooker).
  3. Pot handles should always be turned away from the front of the cooker, so children can’t reach it or adults bump into it.
  4. Store dangerous cleaning agents and chemicals in a very safe place, if possible locked.
  5. Place gas cylinders far away from the cooker, where possible outside.


  1. Have a functioning fire extinguisher handy.
  2. It should be serviced regularly.
  3. Every member of your household should know how to use it.
  4. When putting out a fire with a fire extinguisher, aim at the base of the fire and not the flame itself.

You can get more training from RCL Safety Centre thru https:

At RCL Safety Centre this training is also available in different Nigerian languages like PIDGIN,YORUBA,HAUSA AND IGBO

Our company (RCL Safety Centre) is an indigenous company dedicated to Health, Safety and Environment Training and Services.

We are technical partners of the National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN) as well as approved training partners of most major International Occupational Safety and Health organizations like NEBOSH, and corporate members of ISPON (Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria) with thousands of personnel trained in various areas till date.

For more information visit our website:

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Contact us on: 08099700070, 09057666623 or 08164363532

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