The “heart of the home” can unfortunately be one of the most dangerous areas of your abode. The kitchen functions as both a culinary workspace and household gathering spot, making it a high-traffic room throughout the day. Because the kitchen is comprised of electric, gas and plumbing components, executing proper safety tactics helps prevent kitchen accidents and injuries.
While cooking safety to prevent cuts and burns is widely discussed, the importance of floor safety in the kitchen shouldn’t be overlooked. Slip-and-fall accidents at home are a major threat to personal wellbeing, particularly among the elderly. According to the National Floor Safety Institute¹, half of all accidental deaths in the home are caused by a fall – the majority of which are at ground level and not from an elevated surface. Considering how often ingredients spill and utensils drop, kitchen accidents can be an all-too-common occurrence.
Consider the following five tips for improved kitchen floor safety.
Reorganize Your Tools
If you have children in the house, do not keep sharp knives or tools easily accessible from the countertop. Aside from causing cuts when improperly handled, sharp objects that fall on the floor can lead to floor-related kitchen accidents or injuries. Similarly, keep all fragile items made of glass or ceramic out of arms reach. Tea pots and glassware easily shatter. When they do break, delicate items tend to spread sharp fragments across the floor to be stepped or slipped on later. Finally, avoid using step stools to reach high cabinets by reserving elevated storage spaces for lesser-used dishes and cookware. If you must use a stool, always have a spotter at the bottom of the stool to hold it steady. Never climb on countertops to grab out-of-reach items.
Keep Kitchen Floors Tidy
No one cries over spilled milk – unless it causes a slip-and-fall accident. If you’re using the kitchen, you should be ready to clean messes as they occur and not allow spills to sit and create a slipping hazard for others. Young children who prepare their own breakfast or snacks should be taught how to properly wipe up and dispose of wet messes. Keep paper towels in easy reach and never allow young children to handle harsh cleaning products that are toxic if consumed.
Invest in Indoor Footwear
Sporting your shoes around the house can spread bacteria and dirt across your interiors, so Eagle Mat recommends investing in durable house shoes or slippers to prevent slips-and-fall accidents. To avoid bringing outdoor elements inside (and creating even more hazards), do not wear your slippers outside. Purchase a pair of slippers with rubber soles that are flexible for comfort but provide ample traction for walking across tile and hardwood floors. If your slippers are in the wash or unavailable, go barefoot. When it comes to slip prevention, your bare skin is better than walking around with cotton socks that glide easily.
Protect Your Kitchen Floors
Eagle Mat offers a range of kitchen floor mats for both commercial and at-home use. Restaurant drainage mats work best in commercial culinary spaces where additional traction and moisture absorbency preserves employee safety. Homeowners and renters, on the other hand, can use anti-fatigue kitchen mats or the Waterhog ECO half oval for the kitchen area. Anti-fatigue floor mats help curtail exhaustion and joint pain from washing dishes or preparing a large family meal. The marble top anti-fatigue mat features a non-porous vinyl surface with antimicrobial properties to eliminate germs and bacteria from kitchen floors. To minimize sink overflow damage, place a Waterhog ECO half oval floor mat on the floor in front of the basin, flush with the cabinet base.
Whether working in a professional restaurant or preparing family meals, floor safety to minimize kitchen accidents and injuries is key. Eagle Mat offers consultations and floor mat recommendations based on your home or business needs. Call our customer support team at 877-333-1018 for more information.