Lists of cooking gadgets often focus on ways to make cooking faster. But safety comes first in and out of the kitchen. Before stocking up on culinary tools, consider smoke detectors, flood sensors, and other gadgets as necessities for your safety.
1. Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors throughout a home are an essential safety feature. Keeping at least one smoke detector in the kitchen is vital since cooking fires can happen to even experienced cooks.
Make sure a smoke detector is installed at least 10 feet from the stove. Position the smoke detector either on the ceiling or high on the wall no more than 12 inches from the ceiling. The positioning matters because a sensor that’s too close to the stove can go off any time the burners get hot. A smoke detector that’s positioned too low on the wall won’t sense the smoke from a fire because heat rises.
Change batteries in the smoke detector at least twice a year or when the device gives off a warning that the charge has gotten low.
2. Fire Suppressor
A smoke detector can sound an alarm when a cooking fire starts. A fire suppressor can help put out the fire until help arrives.
Fire suppressors can come in small, handheld gadgets that look like fire extinguishers or in canisters that mount inside the range hood above the stove. The advantage of the second type is that the canisters will automatically spray chemicals if the sensors become hot enough to indicate a fire.
It’s essential to call emergency services still as quickly as possible even if the chemicals seem to have put the fire out.
3. Oil Shield
Oil shields are gadgets that prevent hot oil from splashing out of a cooking pan and potentially causing a fire.
Shields are shaped like a giant funnel and fit inside the interior wall of a pan to ensure that splattering oil doesn’t leave the pan. The shield can also protect the cook from painful splatter burns.
4. Bluetooth Cooking Thermometer
Forgotten or overcooked foods are another common cause of kitchen fires. When cooking on the stove top, it’s easier to see the food that needs attention. But food in the oven is easier to forget unless you have a Bluetooth cooking thermometer.
The thermometer resembles a standard digital cooking thermometer that is inserted into cooking meats or vegetables. Bluetooth models can monitor the temperature from another room. Cooks can even set the alarm to go off in the app to know that the food has reached the optimum temperature.
Bluetooth thermometers do cost more than the standard variety but offer more convenience, safety, and a nearly foolproof outcome with the food.
5. Flood Sensor
Once the kitchen is safe from fire, the next step is water protection. A flood sensor in the kitchen can alert to a broken pipe or overflowing dishwasher. Finding out later can increase the chance of water damage and a higher water bill.
The best position for a flood sensor is under the kitchen sink. Dishwashers tend to tie into the kitchen sink so even a problem with the dishwasher will be sensed from under the sink.