When it comes to safety, you can never be too careful. Even in the privacy of your own home, risks and accidents are just waiting to happen, especially if you aren’t aware of them. Today, we’re going to look at electrical safety tips and techniques for your kitchen.

1. Turn off and unplug unused kitchen appliances

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the most common reason for home fires is cooking equipment. Aside from the hazards brought about by gas-powered devices, electrical appliances can also aggravate this risk.

This first tip is a no-brainer, but it’s one of the most disregarded steps of all: shut off and unplug any appliance that is not in use. Your kids or a house pet may accidentally press the power button on an electric stove, which may set off an unintentional fire inside the kitchen.

2. Avoid overloading electrical circuits

Another hidden hazard is circuit overload. When you install more appliances in the kitchen, your electrical circuit may not be able to handle the additional load. This is true especially if your home was built decades ago, when electrical plans didn’t involve the use of power-hungry appliances.

Some of the biggest electrical loads come from the freezer, refrigerator, and microwave oven. Don’t plug them into the same electrical circuit. Otherwise, this produces frequent tripping of the circuit breaker. What makes matters worse is if your electrical system doesn’t have circuit breakers. The high load may cause circuit damage or electrical fires.

3. Install electrical safety devices

If you have no other choice but to stay in an old home and use a lot of kitchen appliances, your next logical step is to modify your electrical system. For starters, you need to install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), if your system doesn’t have them.

A GFCI is designed to turn off the circuit power when it senses that the flow of current isn’t normal – say, conductivity through water or a potential electric shock. You have the option to either install a circuit breaker into your home’s electrical panel or add a receptacle-type breaker that fits into an electrical box.

The kitchen is one of the busiest areas of any home, and it’s important to make sure that safety is at the top rung of your priority list. By following the tips above, you should minimize the likelihood of accidents and fires inside the kitchen.