Your stove is possibly one of the most useful appliances in your home, but it can also be the most dangerous if you’re not careful. It’s something most people don’t give much thought to, but your stove can be the scene of many accidents. It pays to be cautious whenever you use your stove to avoid injury and potential problems.
General safety precautions
Whether you have a gas, wood or electric stove, there are certain safety tips that should always be followed to keep your family safe.
o When cooking, turn pots so that the handles do not hang over the edge of the stove where small children can grab them and dump boiling food on top of them.
o Always keep a fire extinguisher handy near the stove, even if there is a sink nearby, grease fires will only spread if you pour water on them, so it is best to use a fire extinguisher.
o Only let children cook under adult supervision.
o Use oven mitts and potholders when handling hot pans and pots to avoid burns from high-temperature metals.
o Do not use metal spoons to stir food on the stove and then leave it in the pot. They heat up quickly and can burn your hand the next time you touch them.
o Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing or leaving dish towels near hot burners as they can catch fire.
For obvious reasons, gas stoves need extra safety precautions. You want to make sure there are no gas leaks, so anytime you hear hissing or smell gas and can’t tell where it’s coming from, turn off the gas at the source, open all the windows, and get out of the house. Call the fire department to check. Here are some other things to keep in mind with gas stoves.
o If your stove does not have a pilot light, be sure to light it immediately after turning on the gas. You can cause an explosion if you wait more than a second or two. Even minor gas explosions can seriously injure someone near the stove at the time.
o Regularly check for gas leaks and if you notice any part of the stove is rusting or old, be sure to replace it.
o Gas tends to get hot very quickly, so watch your pots carefully to make sure soups don’t end up boiling over or catch fire in a pan. If you end up with a fire, use your fire extinguisher, do not throw water on the flames.
Electric stoves are the staple of most kitchens. They are evenly heated with coils and electric tends to be more stable than gas when it comes to safety. However, there are still some precautions specific to electric stoves.
o Clean under burners regularly to prevent fires. Extra food bits that fall under the burner on the tray can catch fire if the burner is hot enough.
o Since the pans are placed directly on the burner, it is quite easy to accidentally touch the hot element. Be careful when touching the stove, even if it’s off, as the element can store heat for a while afterward.
o Be careful and wear protective equipment when putting things in the oven. Electric cooktops usually have elements on top of the oven and this can really be a hazard when you get too deep into a preheated oven.
Stoves are very useful and can be a great appliance, but they must be handled with care to avoid injury. Cook carefully and follow the safety precautions listed above to get the best and safest use from your range.