10 Simple Steps to Kitchen Safety

Everything you need to know about keeping your kitchen safe — in 10 simple steps.
By: Margie O'Connor
Similar Topics:
5931173-63519_modern-kitchen_s4x3

5931173-63519_modern-kitchen_s4x3

The kitchen is the busiest room in the home, as well as one of the most frequently remodeled spaces. Unfortunately, the kitchen also can be the most dangerous room in the house, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

However, the NKBA has developed a few simple guidelines to keep kitchens safe. Following these rules will help keep your family safe for years to come:

1. Provide proper lighting. Good general lighting, supplemented with proper task lighting that is clearly focused on work surfaces, will greatly decrease the chance of injury while preparing a meal. The lighting should be glare-free and even, without producing any shadows on the work surface.

2. Install slip-resistant flooring. Some good choices are matte-finished wood or laminate, textured vinyl or a soft-glazed ceramic tile. If the client chooses tile, suggest that a throw rug with a nonskid backing is a good idea, especially around areas that get wet.

3. Provide safe storage for a fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher should be visibly located near a room exit, away from cooking equipment. Never locate an extinguisher near or under a cooktop or range, the most likely sources of a fire. An extinguisher stored in that area would be unreachable if a fire occurs in those areas.

4. Keep electrical switches, plugs and lighting fixtures away from water sources and wet hands. Building codes require that every electrical receptacle be grounded and protected with ground-fault circuit interrupters. In addition, all wall-mounted room controls should be 15 inches to 48 inches above the finished floor.

5. Install water-temperature regulators. Faucets with anti-scald devices prevent water temperature from rising to dangerous levels; pressure-balanced valves equalize hot and cold water. Faucets also can be preprogrammed to the client's desired temperature setting. (These faucets are good in bathrooms, too.)

6. Recommend a safe cooktop. Point out to your client that cooktops with burners in a staggered layout or one straight row can help prevent scalds from reaching over boiling pots. For the same reason, cooktop controls should be along the side or in the front.

7. Design a safe floorplan. Think about how traffic will flow through the kitchen, and design the floorplan to keep that traffic out of the cooking area. For example, avoid putting a range near an entrance or exit.

8. Put the microwave at a convenient height. Locate microwaves at heights that don't require reaching to retrieve food.

9.Consider slide-out trays and bins. Such features in base cabinets make their contents more accessible, and they minimize reaching and twisting to pull out the right item.

10. Eliminate sharp corners on countertops. Use a rounded edge on the corners of countertops, especially islands and peninsulas, to avoid injury to children.

More Info: For more information on kitchen and bath design or to get or NKBA's full list of kitchen guidelines, visit www.nkba.org.

Next Up

Maximum Value Kitchen Projects: Appliances

Appliances are the workhorses of the kitchen. From the refrigerator to the range, make sure they’re updated and functional with these tips.

Getting Your Remodel Off to a Good Start

Before beginning a kitchen remodel, a lot of prep work is required. Here are five things you'll need to do before even hiring a designer.

Maximum Home Value Storage Projects: Kitchen Pantry

With more homeowners buying groceries in bulk and spending more time cooking, the kitchen pantry is in high demand. Here, tips on upgrading yours.

10 Non-Tools to Keep in Your Toolbox

Sure, he uses hammers and screwdrivers. But Chris Grundy, host of DIY Network’s Cool Tools , tells HGTV Magazine what else he stashes for repair job surprises.

10 Steps to Boost Your Home Value

Follow these 10 steps to increase the value of your home for potential future sell.

10 Tips to Increase Your Home's Value

Increasing the value of your home is easier than you think. Follow these tips, and your home will be worth more before you know it.

6 Design Tips to Steal From John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino's Home Kitchens

HGTV's Cousins share their tips for everyone's favorite room.

Keep Appliance Safety at the Forefront

Here's what to look for when shopping for surge protector strips for your appliances.

Green Kitchen Updates

Turn your power-hungry kitchen into an energy-saving space buyers will love.

How to Mount an Exhaust Fan

Getting rid of attic heat keeps things cool in the rest of the house, too.

On TV

Flip or Flop

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30pm | 11:30c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
Tonight
Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

Flip or Flop

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12am | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop

2:30am | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.