Kitchen Safety Design Tips

brown modern kitchen full refurbishment
When you think of designing your new kitchen, the first basic consideration of design should be safety inside the kitchen’. There are more building codes for kitchen than there are for any other part of the house primarily because a kitchen is very prone to accidents.

1. Proper lighting

A kitchen must have a good general lighting and also task based lighting that focuses on the workplace. This will hugely prevent any chances of you getting injured due to inappropriate lighting and poor visibility. Also make sure that the lighting done in the kitchen does not produce much shadows or glares.

2. Use slip-resistant flooring

The kind of material that you handle in the kitchen is not worth falling with. For example falling with a sharp knife in your hand can have far reaching consequences. The best way to avoid such a situation is to use a slip resistant floor like laminate or matte-finished wood, soft glazed ceramic tile or textured vinyl. In case you decide to go ahead with tiles, make sure you place a rug around areas that get wet frequently.

3. Use the space safely

Reflect upon the expected flow of traffic in the kitchen and make sure that no one interferes with the space meant for cooking. It is advisable to place microwaves 24″ to 48″ above the floor to give them a standard height thereby avoiding reaching to retrieve food. Install sliding trays and bins to make storage items more accessible. Avoid sharp corners of the counter tops by getting them rounded. An island or peninsula with a sharp corner can prove to be a big safety disaster.

4. Place the equipment wisely

Make sure that heat emitting appliances and refrigerator are not placed close to each other. If they are to go on the same wall, make sure that you place a cupboard or some barrier between them. Place the stove at a place that is well ventilated. If refrigerator is placed close to the stove or oven, it may burn out in keeping the contents cool resulting in food deterioration.

Make sure that the stove is away from the sink by at least 24 inches to rule out the possibility of water splashing on hot fat which may explode resulting in fire.

The fire extinguisher must be away from cooking equipment and located near the room exit. It shall in no case be under the cook top since it will be unreachable should the cook top be the source of fire.

5. Site electrical switches wisely

While locating electrical switches, make sure that they are away from the water source. It is a mandatory requirement of building codes that every electrical receptacle be grounded and at the same time be cosseted with ground fault circuit interrupters. Also ensure that all wall mounted electrical controls are at least 15-48 inches above the floor.

6. Cupboards and benches

Have all work surfaces of the same height to avoid the chances of misjudging the height of the surface thereby spilling the food. Have the bench top at a height suitable to you or the person who is expected to work most in the kitchen instead of going for the standard height of bench tops. In order to keep the kitchen clean of clutter thereby making it safer, design a lot of storage space. It is recommended to get a heat resistant surface installed near the microwave to avoid having to carry hot utensils across the kitchen.7. Preventing scalds from hot water

Anybody can get scalded by hot water, particularly young children. Make sure that hot water components in your kitchen are sited at safe places. If you have a hot water tank, make sure that it has a tempering valve in place between the tank and the tap to mix cold water with hot water. You can also use temperature limiting taps.

With these seven design safety tips in your knowledge, you are sure to design a kitchen that is safe for its user and has an effective usage and storage plan. With little consideration to proper placement of equipment, you can enhance the safety of your kitchen manifolds. Kitchen is one place where small attention to details on safety can pay exponential dividends in terms of enhanced safety of your loved ones.

Josef Albers is a blogger for and likes to blog about home improvement related topics. In his free time likes to research on various home designs and decorative ideas.