Designing a kitchen is, beyond any doubt, a daunting process. There are so many choices and decisions to make that you probably feel confused.
We’re pretty sure that you want to make your kitchen a welcoming place where the entire family gathers and spends valuable time. Equally, you want to make a choice that will pass the test of time, and it’s normal if we’re to mention all the kitchen trends that come and go. And most importantly, you want your space to be safe. After all, the kitchen is the most functional room in the house, where you have breakfast and prepare dinner each and every day.
Even if some people don’t admit it, the kitchen space can be dangerous, given that they work with sharp objects, use slippery substances and cook at high temperatures. So, safety should be on the top of your priority list when planning a kitchen makeover. A safe kitchen design is even more crucial for families with younger children since the little ones are the most exposed to getting hurt while running around.
With this in mind, we compiled a list of things to have in mind when designing a safe kitchen:
Prevent floor slippage
Slipping is one of the most common accidents that happen in the kitchen, and we’re pretty sure you don’t want to deal with back pains resulting from slipping on a wet floor. It’s inevitable to avoid slippery substances like fat and oils (after all, you need to cook), but you can make a difference by paying attention to flooring. That means you have to carefully choose floor material, taking into account the risk of slippage.
Tiles may look great in the kitchen, but if you want to minimise the risk of losing your balance while preparing lunch, it would be better to opt for matte-finished wood. Solid wood can be a costly purchase, but you can enjoy it for decades. However, if your budget is tight, laminate flooring is also an excellent choice, being clean from spills and easy to maintain.
Keep electrical equipment away from water sources
You’re probably aware that water and electricity are not really the best duo. Sure, it might be easier to avoid such a combination in the rest of the house, but in the kitchen, it seems nearly impossible, especially if you’re dealing with a narrow space. Anyway, do your best and keep the electricals as far away from the water sources as possible for safety reasons. Fire and electrical shortage hazards are quite likely caused by unprotected electrical outlets, wrong wattage light bulbs, or outdated wiring.
We recommend always protecting your plugs, switches, and electrical fixtures with ground-fault circuit interrupters. They’re a must in every kitchen, and yours shouldn’t be out of the picture. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve just started a home renovation because these interrupters are now a condition of the building code. However, in case your house is a time-honoured environment, your switches aren’t likely to be grounded with ground-fault circuits. But there’s no need to worry – you can call an electrician anytime and solve this issue in a trice.
Also, you should consider the height of the electrical fixtures in your kitchen. Even if it seems unimportant at first, it is particularly important when an unpleasant accident could occur, such as flooding. You may think that this couldn’t happen to you, but learn that kitchen inundations are not so uncommon. Specialists recommend keeping any plugs or switches at least fifteen inches above the floor to have no concern regarding a potential inundation.
Opt for handleless kitchens
Kitchens without handles aren’t new on the market, but they’ve been in high demand lately, and for a good reason. Not only do they create a smooth aesthetic in the kitchen due to their minimalist feel, but they’re also much safer than any other kitchen design.
For families with younger children, handleless kitchens are crucial, given that they make it impossible for the little ones to open the drawers where dangerous items like knives, scissors, or other sharp utensils are stored. They’re a safe option for adults, too, if we’re to consider the small probability of bumping into or catching the clothes during the cooking process. With this in mind, it’s no wonder more and more families opt for handleless kitchen units.
Apart from the safety reasons, handleless kitchens also make for a great contemporary design. Therefore, if you’re tired of the traditional handles and want to breathe new life into your space, you should consider handleless units. And if your kitchen floor space is limited, it’s even better. Kitchen navigation could sail smoother because there are no handles to bump into or overhang from prominent hardware.
It’s also an ideal choice if you opt to design your kitchen in an open-plan kitchen/living style, as it makes the shift from the cooking zone to the living area look more natural, without giving the impression of heaviness.
Choose a safe floor plan
Choosing the kitchen layout is a daunting process, especially when you have its safety in mind. If you’re not well informed in this regard, learn that the placement of dangerous items plays a crucial role in determining their safety. So, it would be helpful to pay special attention to hot elements like the stove and oven and put them in one end to avoid a potential accident.
Given that these appliances are some of the most used in a kitchen, they see a lot of foot traffic. Someone who frequently crosses their path is most inclined to burn themselves. And we all know how painful kitchen burns are. As for the fridge, it can remain near the kitchen entrance because it cannot cause any harm.
Safety should be on the top of your priority list when planning a kitchen renovation. There are several ways to make your space less dangerous, from paying special attention to the electrical equipment to choosing a handless kitchen. We hope you’ll find out these insights useful and make the best decision for your kitchen.