Cooking is one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer. Making a meal for yourself and your family can be fun (but also challenging when it comes to cooking in a rental apartment).
For those of us who are less-than-stellar cooks, cooking is more of a necessity of life. Regardless, we all have to cook at some point. We take precautions, like making sure we don’t cut ourselves or drop any glasses or cans on the floor, but what about other basic cooking safety tips?
Being an apartment dweller presents us with some unique cooking circumstances that need to be addressed.
When stocking your apartment kitchen with utensils, consider a fire extinguisher an important extension of that. Simply put – every kitchen needs a fire extinguisher. Some buildings will supply them for each suite, but if yours does not then go out and buy one right away. A small kitchen fire extinguisher costs about $20 at places like Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart. Using one may seem difficult, but the instructions are simple and printed directly on the canister. Make a point of familiarizing yourself with the directions before putting it away in a safe (but easily accessible!) place. Having an extinguisher handy can help to put out small cooking fires quickly and safely.
No Extinguisher? Other Ways to Put Out Fires: According to Fire Prevention Canada, cooking oil and grease fires are one of the main causes of residential fires in this country. If you do not have an extinguisher handy, you can use a lid or cookie sheet to “smother” the fire. NEVER use water to put out a grease fire – it will only make it worse. In a pinch, you can also smother the fire with a damp kitchen cloth. It is important that you never try to move a pan that has caught on fire, as this will fan the flames and possibly spread the fire and/or cause you to drop the pan. Remember – when in doubt, smother!
It may seem strange, but the sharper your knives are the safer they will be. When a knife is dull, you need to use more force to cut through food. The more force you use, the greater the risk of you cutting yourself. Have a knife sharpener in your utensil drawer and use it whenever your knives start to give you difficulties when preparing your dinner.
While convenient, microwaves do pose a risk if not used properly. Something that is often forgotten is that you absolutely cannot put metal of any kind into a microwave, including tin foil. Additionally, keep an eye on the food cooking inside as certain foods can explode if left for too long (like hot dogs). Can you imagine the mess you’d have to clean up afterwards?
Need a cheat sheet? Here’s what the National Fire Protection Association has to say about fire safety:
• Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
• Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
• Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
Whether you are a gourmet chef or have trouble making mac and cheese, we all can benefit from learning and remembering these simple kitchen safety tips!
Bon Appetit 🙂
The RentSeeker.ca Team
Apartments for Rent Made Easy