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Healthcare

Kitchen

4 steps to a safer kitchen

Try these easy ways to feel safer and reduce your risk of falls and accidents in the kitchen

3rd September 2013

From handy gadgets to brighter lighting, there are lots of ways to make your kitchen safer and more comfortable to work in.

 

1. Everything within reach

One important step you can take to reduce your risk of falling in the kitchen is to make sure that the items you use every day are within easy reach, preferably at waist height. It’s so easy to topple over when stretching up to a high cupboard, especially if you stand on something unsuitable like a kitchen chair.

If you do need to step up, use a purpose-built, sturdy step stool, ideally one with a handle so you can steady yourself.  Alternatively, a reacher – a long-handled set of grippers that’s controlled by a trigger – can help you grasp lighter items rather than climbing up to fetch them. Some models are fitted with magnets to grip metal items more securely.

 

2. Check the floor  

Tripping over is the last thing you want to do, so make sure that you don’t have loose runners or mats in the kitchen, and if you have tiles, check they fit smoothly and aren’t chipped. If there are steps into the kitchen, mark the treads with a contrasting strip so you can see them easily, even in dim light.

It goes without saying to keep the floor clean of spills and grease, and not to have cables from kitchen appliances trailing across the floor.

 

3. Save your strength

If you get tired standing to do kitchen tasks like chopping vegetables or washing up, a perching stool can take the weight off your feet and feel more secure. These specially designed stools, which position you at a slight angle to help you get up again, can be adjusted to the height of your worktop or sink, so that you can get on with the chores in comfort.

Carrying heavy trays to and from the kitchen can also be a trip hazard, so a light wheeled frame that is also a trolley could be very useful here; you can ferry your lunch, coffee and newspaper from the kitchen to the lounge without needing two pairs of hands.

 

4. Light and bright

Having the right level of lighting in your kitchen can help reduce the risk of accidents and falls. The best place for the light switch is near the door, so you don’t have to stumble across a dark kitchen to reach it. It’s also safer to have lights that come on straightaway rather than those that brighten slowly.

Aim for a bright, evenly lit kitchen without any sharp contrasts of light and dark. If you have cupboards above worktops, built-in lighting can be useful to make your working surfaces and hob as bright as possible.

 

We also recommend:

  • Top buys for easier mealtimes
  • 7 ways to prepare food more easily in your kitchen

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