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Safety Precautions for Stove Use

Apr 23, 2008
Your stove is possibly one of the most useful appliances in your home, but it can also be the most dangerous if you arent careful. Its something that most people dont think about much, but your stove can be the scene of many accidents. It pays to be cautious whenever you use your stove to avoid injuries and possible 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.

When cooking, turn the pots so the handles dont stick out over the edge of the stove where small children can grab them and pull boiling hot food on top of themselves.

Always keep a fire extinguisher handy near the stove, even if there is a sink nearby, grease fires will just spread if you throw water on them, so its better to use an extinguisher.

Only let children cook under adult supervision.

Use oven mitts and potholders to handle hot pans and pots to prevent burns from the high temperature metals.

Dont use metal spoons to stir food on the stove and then leave them in the pot. They heat up quickly and can burn your hand the next time you touch them.

Avoid using loose, flowing clothing or leaving dish towels near hot burners, since these can catch fire.

Gas Stoves

For obvious reasons, gas stoves need extra safety precautions. You want to make sure that there are no gas leaks, so anytime you hear a hissing or smell gas and cant tell where it is coming from, turn off your gas at the source, open all windows and exit the house. Call the fire department to check it out. Here are some other things to keep in mind with gas stoves.

If your stove doesnt have a pilot light, be sure to light it immediately after turning the gas on. You can cause an explosion by waiting more than a second or two. Even minor gas explosions can seriously injure someone who is close to the stove at the time.

Check regularly for gas leaks and if you notice any stove parts getting rusty or old, be sure to replace them.

Gas tends to heat very quickly, so watch your pots carefully to make sure you dont end up with soups boiling over or starting a fire in a pan. If you do end up with a fire, use your fire extinguisher, dont throw water on the flames.

Electric Stoves

Electric stoves are the staple of most kitchens. They heat evenly with coils and electricity tends to be more stable than gas as far as safety goes. However, there are still some precautions specific to electrical stoves.

Clean under the burners regularly to prevent fires. Extra bits of food that fall under the burner into the tray can catch fire if the burner is hot enough.

Since pots are placed directly onto the burner, its pretty easy to accidentally touch the hot element. Be careful when reaching across the stove, even if its turned off, since the element can store heat for a while afterwards.

Take care and use protective equipment to put things in the oven. Electric stoves usually have elements at the top of the oven and this can really be a danger when you reach far into the preheated oven.

Stoves are very useful and can be a great appliance to have, but they do need to be treated with care in order to avoid injury. Cook carefully and follow the safety precautions listed above to get the best, safest use out of your stove.
About the Author
When using a stove, be sure to exercise safety precautions to prevent against a possible accident. Extra caution and awareness will help guard against any potential mishaps.
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