Kitchen Dangers During the Holidays

During Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season, the kitchen is a hub of activity. From baking pumpkin pie using a recipe passed down along generations to making soup and hoping the turkey isn’t overcooked, a lot happens in the kitchen and a lot can go wrong.

According to Consumer Reports, fires related to cooking increase over the holidays—Thanksgiving has three times the daily average of cooking-related fires. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed closely by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas Eve. Please be sure to check and test your smoke detectors prior to the holiday season. While kitchen fires can be the most destructive, responsible for 49% of home fires that resulted in 21% of the home fire deaths and 44% of the injuries, there are other ways you can get hurt.

Here are seven most common causes of injury that start in the kitchen:

  1. Cooking Fires
    Unattended cooking equipment accounts for one in three fires, and half are ignited by fat, grease, oil, or related substances.
  2. Knife Cuts
    Lacerations caused by knives affected more than 350,000 people in 2012. Dull knives are more dangerous because they require more pressure to use and their worn edge can cause the knife to slip off food and into your fingers.
  3. Range Tip-overs
    Nearly 40,000 people are injured from these appliances every year. Kids are especially at risk if they’re not supervised and climb on an open door, causing the range to tip over.
  4. Shattering Cookware
    More than 37,000 people are injured from using cookware each year. Hot handles can cause burns and sometimes glass cookware can shatter.
  5. Food Processor Lacerations
    Food processors cause more than 21,000 injuries, including cuts from the blades.
  6. Microwave Oven Burns
    More than 10,000 people are hurt using microwaves. Burns are most common.
  7. Blender Injuries
    More than 9,600 injuries occur involving blenders. Immersion blenders are great for soups because they blend directly in a pot, but recent reports show that injuries are growing with the use of those small appliances.

CED engineers are experienced in investigating accidents that happen in the kitchen – from finding the source of a home fire to examining aspects of product failure and human factors in injury claims. Contact us to review your next case or submit a case request online.