Design your kitchen with safety concerns

Without safety rules, the kitchen can be one of the most hazardous rooms in your home. Many safety issues can arise in the kitchen, including injury, illness and infection. These can be caused by simple mistakes or negligence such as leaving a sharp knife in a hazardous position, not properly cleaning food or placing raw meat on counter tops. These safety issues are easily avoided by following a few simple kitchen safety rules while you design your kitchen.

Choose the right layout:

Layout is the key to a good kitchen. In doing your kitchen layout, take note of the “Golden Triangle” where in you have to place your fridge, sink and oven or range close to each other positioned at the three sides of the triangle. No matter how big or how small your kitchen is, you have to see to it that these three main work areas are not more than three meters apart. You can’t just place these things anywhere. Be sure that it is easy to move around your kitchen.

CONSIDER HOW YOU USE YOUR KITCHEN

• How many people are in your household who use the kitchen? The answer to this question will determine how much use your kitchen gets, and how much traffic there is likely to be in the kitchen at any one time.

• Do two or more cooks typically work at the same time? If so, you may want extra counter

space and/or an extra sink.

• Do you entertain frequently–and do you typically have formal or informal gatherings? If you entertain a lot, you may want to open up the kitchen/living room area into a great room that lets you be part of the party while you’re working.

• What other activities commonly occur in the kitchen? Some houses have a laundry closet in the kitchen. Some people want a wet bar, a breakfast bar or even a desk for writing or computer work.

• Do you have any special needs? Is a user exceptionally short or tall and uncomfortable working at standard-height counters for long periods of time? Do you have a disabled or elderly household member who may have special needs?

This, obviously, is not a complete list of the general considerations in kitchen planning–the list is nearly infinite. But before you begin designing, think about who uses the kitchen and how they use it.

THINK ABOUT THE FEATURES YOU WANT

For example:

  • Would you rather have a stainless steel sink or enameled cast iron?
  • Do you use a microwave for major cooking or just to heat up cups of tea?
  • Do you prefer cooking with gas or electricity?
  • Do you want a combination oven-and-range or a cook top with a wall oven?
  • Do you use enough small appliances that you could use an appliance garage to store them?

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