The kitchen is the hub of many homes and the home of many household electrical appliances. So, it makes sense to take extra care, particularly because they’re often near water. Here are our top tips for electrical safety in the kitchen.
1. Sockets and switches – all plug sockets should be at least 30 cm from the sink. Once again, water and electricity do not mix. Many appliances have fitted switches under worktops, or behind heavy machinery. These should use an additional, accessible connection, with a switch fitted above the worktop.
2. Use a Residual Current Device (RCD) – this vital bit of kit is essential if you’re using a kitchen socket to power electrical equipment outdoors. An RCD is a super-sensitive safety device that switches off the electricity if there’s a fault – such as a person accidentally touching a live wire (say if your lawnmower cuts through the cable.)
3. Dry your hands – never use switches or touch electrical equipment when your hands are wet.
4. Check those leads – leads and cables to kettles and toasters need to be checked, to be sure they’re in good working order.
5. Unplug to clean and repair – got a bit of crumpet caught in your toaster? Unplug it before you stick something in to get it out. There are live parts inside and touching them would give you a shock. The same goes for any repairs.
6. Get rid of grease – a build-up of grease and fat in your oven is a common fire hazard. If you’re thinking of trying eco-friendly products to clean your oven, take a look at our new guide to green cleaning, for some top tips.
7. Don’t block ventilation – placing objects on top of, or in front of vents stops air circulation, which can cause a fire.
8. Defrost your fridge – keep fridges and freezers running efficiently by defrosting them at least once a year.
9. Smoke detectors – your first line of defence in event of a fire is a smoke detector. They’re essential in every home.