ESFI Offers Tips for Cooking Up Safety in the Kitchen

"The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where families gather to cook favorite recipes, share warm meals, and reconnect with each other. But it’s also the location where two-thirds of all home fires start," cautions ESFI president Brett Brenner.

Use these simple safety tips from ESFI to identify and correct potential hazards in the kitchen before someone gets hurt:

  • Keep your stove and oven clean. Clean the exhaust hood and duct over the stove regularly.
  • Keep the cooking area around the stove/oven clear of combustibles, such as towels, napkins, and pot holders.
  • Locate all appliances away from the sink. Plug counter top appliances into ground fault circuit interrupters.
  • Keep appliance cords away from hot surfaces like the range or toaster. Unplug the toaster and other counter top appliances when not in use.
  • Make sure there is room behind the refrigerator for air to circulate.
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils every three months to eliminate dirt buildup that can reduce efficiency and creates a fire hazard.
  • Any electric shock from a major appliance can indicate an extremely hazardous wiring condition. Turn the power to the appliance off at the circuit breaker, and do not touch the appliance until it has been checked by a licensed, qualified electrician.
  • Do not use electrical appliances that have been wet. Water can damage the motors in electrical appliances like freezers and refrigerators.

"A healthy respect for electricity and a basic knowledge of electrical safety practices can help keep your home and family safe from electrical hazards," notes Brenner.

Making a few easy changes to improve safety can also lead to increased energy efficiency and savings on utility bills. Visit ESFI’s Virtual Home at  to learn more about home electrical safety.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school, and play. ESFI is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. For more information about ESFI and National Electrical Safety Month, visit