As summer heats up, your outdoor kitchen can be the spot for family gatherings or neighborhood get-togethers. From sizzling steaks, to some freshly smoked ribs, or a hand-crafted cocktail (or two), an outdoor kitchen can provide hours of entertainment and enjoyment for your friends or family.
As with any kitchen space, you’ll want to remain aware of who’s around–namely, children. Keeping these simple tips in mind will allow you to maintain a safe, kid-friendly environment, while keeping the party going!
Prevent Fire Potential
Taking fire precautions seriously is one of the most important steps in outdoor kitchen safety. A fire extinguisher is a must-have in any kitchen–both indoors and outdoors.
Be familiar with the extinguisher’s operation, have it readily available, and know where/how to turn off the power and/or gas during an emergency. Keeping your grill or smoker clean also significantly reduces the risk of a dangerous grease fire.
Avoid Hot Surfaces
With active children, preparing any meal can be a challenge! But remember, cooking in an outdoor kitchen requires the same safety protocols you would follow indoors. Supervise toddlers and young children, turn pan/pot handles out of reach, and keep kids away from hot cooking surfaces or appliances at all times.
Keep a Clean Prep Space
It’s very easy to overlook potential danger on your countertop or in your sink. Never leave knives, meat forks, skewers, or any other potentially dangerous tools/cutlery within reach. Properly clean and safely store your outdoor kitchen utensils as soon as you’re done using them. Don’t leave out!
Consider Childproof Locks
Depending on the age of your children (or your friend’s/family’s children), consider installing childproof locks on any of the outdoor kitchen cabinets and drawers. Never allow alcohol, chemicals, or grill tools/cutlery within reach of curious little hands. If locks are not an option, be sure to store these items far out of reach.
Teach Safety and Proper Techniques
A good way to teach the importance of safety to children is to get them involved in the process. Show them a basic understanding of outdoor grills and appliances, how they operate properly, and what potentially makes them dangerous. Also, allow them to participate in basic food preparation like washing vegetables, or wrapping potatoes in foil. They’ll take interest and you’ll appreciate the extra set of hands!
Enjoying meals from your outdoor kitchen can be fun for the whole family! Just make sure to stay aware, and keep your space kid-friendly and safe for everyone of all ages!