We all know that water and electricity make a lethal combination, and the kitchen(with the bathrooms) is the place in the home that this combination is most likely to occur. So it is very important that fixed electrical equipment is installed correctly, and that you use appliances installed in your kitchen with care. Here are some of the tips that the Electrical Safety Council recommends for Kitchen Safety:
- In order to avoid water coming into contact with electricity, make sure that your sockets or switches are fitted at a safe distance (at least 30 centimetres horizontally) from the sink.
- If appliances such as fridges, dishwashers and washing machines are fitted under worktops, getting to sockets may be difficult. Ideally, these appliances should be controlled by a switched fuse-connection unit mounted above the worktop where you can reach it easily.
- If a socket in the kitchen or anywhere else in the house is likely to be used to supply portable equipment outdoors, it should have an RCD fitted. Under the national safety standard, all sockets in new electric installations and any new sockets added to an existing installation must have RCD protection.
- Take special care when using electrical appliances in the kitchen – the mixture of water, hot surfaces, flexes and electricity can be very dangerous. Check that flexible leads and appliances such as kettles and toasters are in good condition.
Whether you install switches and sockets, lights, electrical appliances, fire alarms or heating systems, you can never be too cautious / careful with their interaction / combination with water. Besides the DO’s, there is also a list of DON’T ‘s – for the sake of electrical safety in the kitchen, do not do this:
- Don’t: use any electrical equipment or switches with wet hands;
- Don’t: wrap flexible cables around any equipment when it is still warm;
- Don’t: clean an appliance such as a kettle while it is still plugged in;
- Don’t: try to get toast that is stuck out of a toaster while it is plugged in, and especially not with a metal knife
– there are often live parts inside; or
– fill a kettle or a steam iron while it is plugged in.
I know that you would say, These things are not special rules/tips – I know them since forever! Many times we need to be reminded of the simple tips for Electrical Safety in the Kitchen, so that electrical hazards / accidents would not happen! More tips: see Switches & Sockets section…