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National Kitchen & Bath Association
National Association of the
Steps to a Safe Kitchen
priority number one when it comes to designing your brand new kitchen. More
building codes cover the kitchen than any other room in the house. That's
because so many accidents occur there.
Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) suggests the following steps when designing
- Use proper
lighting. Good general lighting, supplemented with proper task lighting
that's clearly focused on a work surface, an greatly decrease your chance of
injury while preparing a meal. Also, the lighting should not produce any
glare or shadows on the surface.
slip-resistant flooring. Falling with a hot casserole or a sharp knife in
your hand can have serious consequences. A slip-resistant material on your
floor, such as matte-finished wood or laminate, textured vinyl or a
soft-glazed ceramic tile, will do the trick. If you select tile, try using a
throw-rug with a non-skid backing for added precautions, especially around
areas that get wet.
- Keep a fire
extinguisher handy. NKBA recommends that a fire extinguisher be visibly
located near a room exit, away from cooking equipment and 15"-48"
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, which shut
off the room's electric current is there is a power surge or it moisture is
present. In addition, NKBA recommends that all wall-mounted room controls be
15" - 48" above the finished floor.
appliance lock-out options. Many of today's appliances, particularly ranges,
ovens and dishwashers, allow you to "lock out" little hands so no
one can use them when you're not in the room. This can be done either with
lock-out covers or a programmed lock-out system.
water temperatures and devices. Install faucets with anti-scald devices that
prevent water temperature from rising to dangerous levels, or buy
pressure-balanced valves that equalize hot and cold water. Faucets also are
available that can be preprogrammed to your desired temperature setting.
- Find a safe
cook top. Avoid being scalded by steam from boiling pot by staggering burners
on your cook top or have one straight row of burners. And never choose a unit
with control along the back of the appliance; controls should be along the
side or in the front.
- Use the space
safely. Think about how traffic will flow through the kitchen and make sure
no one will interfere with your space when cooking. Locate microwaves
24" to 48" above the floor to avoid reaching to retrieve food.
Slide-out trays and bins in base cabinets make storage items more accessible
so you don't have to bend. And lastly, avoid sharp corners on the ends of
countertops, especially islands and peninsulas, by having them rounded.