How to Prevent Electric Shock in the Kitchen

An electric shock is a common cause of injury in the kitchen. This pertains to kitchens in homes and workplaces.

Your kitchen is likely to have wet floors, wet surfaces, wet food, or you may have wet hands.

Thus, electricity and water can cause a deadly combination, and some injuries can even be fatal.

As a result, you should take extra care to reduce the chances of electric shocks. Here are some important tips on how to prevent electric shock in the kitchen.

Tips on How to Prevent Electric Shock in the Kitchen

For workplaces, you must educate your team on safety tips for using electrical equipment in the kitchen. Some carelessness may have catastrophic results.

At the same time, make sure that you teach your family members about these safety tips.

Be extra careful when there are children in the kitchen when you’re working.

Inspect All Electrical Equipment

You should make it a habit to visually inspect all of your electrical equipment about once every 2 weeks.

Take a look at the wiring of all of your appliances. Look for frayed electrical cords.

Check the Cords on Appliances

Plugging in an appliance with damaged cords can result in an electric shock.

Moreover, any exposure to water can also short circuit the appliance. As a result, there can be a fire.

If you are unsure how to repair how to fix frayed cords, hire a professional. Moreover, don’t use the appliance until the cords are in perfect condition.

Check Electrical Outlets

At the same time, make sure to check your electrical outlets.

In some cases, power outlets may look functional, but you may hear a sparking sound. So, check your outlets in silence.

Make sure to call a professional electrician if you can hear a crackling or sparking sound from your power outlets or appliances.

Don’t use that equipment until the electrician diagnoses the problem. 

Do Not Place Electrical Appliances Near the Sink

The chances of electrocution are greater when water and electricity are near each other.

Therefore, you should place your kitchen appliances as far away as possible from your sink.

This may require a bit of a design change in some cases.

Also, it may be inconvenient because you’ll have to travel more distance when filling water. However, it’s a much safer option.

If an appliance does get wet, don’t use it until it’s completely dry. In addition to that, don’t try to unplug the wet appliance with wet hands.

Handling electrical equipment with wet hands can be disastrous.

Do Not Overload a Power Outlet

Every power outlet has a limit of how much power it can provide. If you exceed that limit, the outlet will trip the circuit breaker.

However, in some cases, the outlet may short circuit. This process is known as overloading a power outlet.

Kitchen appliances typically take a lot of power. Therefore, plugging in multiple appliances in one outlet can result in overloading.

It’s best to plug in only one kitchen appliance in one outlet.

If you can get a burning smell from the outlet or hear a crackling, sparking, or buzzing sound, turn it off immediately.

These are signs that the outlet may short circuit. Have an electrician look at it before you use it.

Unplug and Remove Countertop Appliances

When you are done using a countertop appliance, turn the switch off and unplug it.

After that, keep it in its designated area and away from the sink.

Accidentally dropping an appliance in the kitchen can cause an electrical short.

Follow Appropriate Methods of Plugging and Unplugging Appliances

You, your family members, and employees (in workplaces) must follow proper steps when plugging and unplugging appliances.

Always make sure that the outlet switch is turned off when plugging the appliance. Ignore that if it does not have a switch.

In addition to that, make sure to switch off the power button before unplugging an appliance.

You may cause a short circuit or experience electrocution if you don’t.

Hold the Plug and Not the Cord

It’s important that you hold the plug and not the cord when unplugging an appliance.

Holding the cord will damage the plug internally.

As a result, the connections won’t be secure.

This may short circuit and fire, or you may get an electric shock from it.

Turn Off Your Appliances When They’re Not in Use

It’s definitely more convenient to leave the main switches on for your kitchen appliances.

However, the presence of water can pose an eventual risk of electric shock.

So, make sure to turn on appliances such as stove-top burners, ovens, coffee makers, etc. when you’re about to use it.

Switch them off right after you’re done with them.

Do Not Place Liquids Atop Your Microwave

The top of a microwave may provide space when you’re working. However, do not place any liquids atop it.

If the container topples and spills, there’s the risk of a short circuit happening.

In addition to that, the container may leave some liquid underneath if the liquid is colder than the room’s temperature.

Also, be careful when placing liquids inside the microwave.

Do Not Use Power Strips or Extension Cords

You should avoid using power strips or extension cords in your kitchen at all costs.

Power strips or extension cords can overload a power outlet.

Power Strips or Extension Cords May Cause Overloading

Considering the amount of power that kitchen appliances take, you will most like cause the circuit breaker to trip or the outlet or power strip to short circuit.

It’s best not to risk using one for temporary use either.

In addition to overloading, a power strip may not have a grounded electrical current.

As a result, the chances of an electric shock or damage to your equipment are higher.

Instead, plug in your appliances in a grounded outlet.

Install More Outlets If Necessary

There are many kitchen appliances you may need to use, and you’ll need a power source for them.

Therefore, hire a professional electrician to install more outlets in the kitchen. Make sure that they are grounded.

Use Appropriate Bulbs for Your Lighting Fixtures

Adequate lighting is necessary to work effectively in your kitchen.

However, you should use bulbs that are the correct size for your lighting fixtures.

If you use oversized bulbs, you may cause the wiring to heat and burn. As a result, you may get a shock from the light switch.

Consult an electrician if you’re unsure of what light bulbs are best.

Do Not Try to Put Out a Fire with Water

If you’re experimenting in the kitchen, there’s a chance that something may catch fire. If that’s the case, don’t attempt to put it out with water.

You’ll only increase the chances of the fire growing and cause an electric shock by doing so.

If the fire is due to an electrical reason, use a fire extinguisher that’s designed for electrical fires.

If you don’t have an extinguisher, unplug the appliance if that’s possible.

After that, use a blanket or heavy fabric to smother the flames.

Do Not Let Grease Collect on Power Outlets

Clean your outlets by wiping them every now and then. A build-up of grease can eventually cause the power outlet to malfunction.

It’s also best to install power outlets far away from your stove or oven. This way, grease will not build up as quickly as it would if the outlet is right above a stove.

Test Your GFCI Outlets Once Every Month

You should make it a practice to test your GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupters) outlets once every month.

Moreover, you should plug small appliances in such outlets to reduce the chances of an electric shock.

Do Not Let a Cord Touch Water

It’s best to use appliances with short cords. This way, they won’t lie around or come in the way in walkways.

If a cord or a part of it is in contact with water, do not use that appliance.

Instead, unplug the appliance and dry the cord. Use the appliance only after all parts of it are dry.

Last Few Words

While there’s a chance that you’ll get an electric shock in your kitchen, you can work towards eliminating that by following proper procedures.

It’s vital that you consistently inspect the quality of your electrical equipment.

Wires tend to get damaged over time. Therefore, you should make sure to have it repaired as soon as you detect a problem.

In addition to that, make sure to pay attention to any sounds or odors your power outlets or appliances may make.

Hire a professional to check them and fix them before you continue to use them.

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