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There’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal, yet the kitchen can be a dangerous place. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to more than 166,000 fires due to cooking equipment each year. Find out what the most common kitchen-mishaps are and learn how to prevent them to avoid chaotic meal times (and costly kitchen repairs!)

Undercooking meat

You probably don’t want to make your own steak tartar unless you’re certain about the quality of the meat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whole cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145ºF and ground meats like beef and pork and all poultry should be cooked to 160ºF to kill the germs that can make you sick.

Sparking a microwave fire

These days, nearly all U.S. households (92%) own a microwave oven1 and many meals can be made there, quicker and easier than using a typical stove. But, you need to make sure you’re not using metal. Heating up metal in a microwave can cause sparks that can turn into a kitchen fire.

Cutting your hand while slicing a bagel

BRIs (an actual medical acronym for bagel-related injuries) ranked as the fifth most dangerous kitchen activity in 2011.2 To avoid cutting yourself (and be able to enjoy your bagel, instead of going to the emergency room), lay the bagel flat on a work surface, pressing your hand flat on top. Hold a serrated bread knife on the other hand and slice the bagel horizontally, keeping the knife parallel to the work surface.

slicing a bagel


Stinging eyes from hot peppers

While the natural oils from jalapenos may not cause actual damage to your eyes, it sure can hurt! To prevent getting hot pepper oils into your eyes, use rubber gloves when cutting or handling them or coat your hands with vegetable oil before carefully chopping your favorite spicy pepper.

Cross-contaminating food

Getting your weekly Taco Tuesday fix? Because you can contaminate ready-to-eat foods like avocadoes and lettuce with germs from raw poultry, seafood or eggs, be sure to keep them separate by using different cutting boards and utensils.

Starting a fire from grease or crumbs

A clean kitchen is a safe kitchen. So, don’t let grease build up inside your stove or on the burners, as this can start a fire. Dump the crumb tray and clean out the toaster crumbs periodically on your toaster or toaster oven. And unplug and repair or replace any appliances that don’t work properly.

Slipping on a forgotten spill

It may not be easy to wipe up a kitchen spill immediately, especially if you’re in the middle of a time-sensitive recipe or you’ve got other things happening (water boiling over on the stove, butter bubbling over in the microwave, etc.). Just make sure to clean it up as soon as possible, so it doesn’t cause you or a guest to slip and fall.

At Chubb, we know even the most careful home chefs can sometimes have a meal-prep gone awry. That’s why when you’re at your worst, we’re at our best, always treating you with empathy. So if you experience a claim, you’ll want your life back, and to fix and rebuild without hassles, headaches, or delay. Let us raise your expectations of what your homeowner’s insurance can provide.