Kitchen hazards to watch out for

Last updated on January 30, 2024
Love spending time in your kitchen? Make it a safe environment with our tips for avoiding common kitchen hazards.
We don’t like to think of the humble home kitchen as a source of danger. However, there are many potential hazards commonly associated with kitchens that can cause serious injury or illness. Thankfully, awareness of the common risk factors for these hazards coupled with simple safety measures can greatly reduce or prevent these incidents from happening.

Did you know that according to NSW Fire and Rescue, half of all house fires start in the kitchen? The majority are caused by leaving cooking unattended. Kitchen fires are often caused by fat or oil igniting, electrical faults in appliances, or flammable materials coming into contact with flame. 

  • Inspect electrical appliance cords regularly and replace them if they become frayed or damaged.
  • Keep flammable items, such as tea towels and paper towels, away from heat sources.
  • Never leave your cooking unattended and switch off appliances after use.
  • When cooking in oil, use a large enough pan to avoid overcrowding of ingredients.
  • Keep a fire blanket and fire extinguisher in easy reach, and make sure the people living in your home know how to use them.
  • Keep your grill and other kitchen appliances clean and free of crumbs and grease.
  • Never use water to put out a fat or oil fire. Since water and oil don’t mix, throwing water onto it can cause the fire to flare up and spread further. Extinguish the flame with a fire blanket, fire extinguisher, or a lid if the fire is in a pot or pan.

According to the Australian and New Zealand Burn Association, there are approximately 50,000 burns-related hospital admissions in Australia each year. Common sources of burns in the home include cooking oil, boiling water, kitchen appliances, and hot pans and oven trays.

  • Take care when carrying containers with hot liquid.
  • Use oven mitts when removing dishes or trays from the oven or microwave, or when handling hot pans on the stove.
  • Avoid using tea towels or wearing loose clothing around open flame.
  • When frying, use a splatter guard to minimise contact with hot oil.
  • Take care when opening a pot or kettle holding boiling water, rice cookers, and multi-cookers. The steam can cause scalds. Allow the steam to escape gently and redirect it away from you with the lid.

On average, there are an estimated 4.1 million Australians that experience cases of food poisoning annually. This is often caused by not storing or cooking food properly, or cross-contamination from preparing food such as raw chicken.

  • Make sure your refrigerator’s temperature is set at 5°C or below.
  • Don’t thaw frozen food on the kitchen bench. Thaw it slowly in the fridge instead.
  • When cooking or reheating, make sure your food reaches a temperature high enough to kill bacteria (75°C or hotter) by using a food thermometer.
  • Pay attention to use by dates on food and toss anything that looks or smells bad.
  • Wash your hands with soap before and after preparing food. Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly, particularly those grown in soil.
  • After preparing raw meat, chicken, or seafood, wash and dry the board and knife thoroughly before using again.
  • Regularly wash or replace kitchen sponges, cloths, and tea towels.

Having insurance can help when things go wrong. There’s the security of knowing that if something does go wrong, you have cover in place to help get through it. An incident, such as a fire, can cause devastating damage to a home. That’s why it’s essential to consider whether home and contents insurance is right for you and your family’s circumstances, to cover your property and belongings. Some policies will also include legal liability cover, which may cover you if, for example, a fire that started in your kitchen spread to your neighbour’s house.

If you insure your home and contents with Allianz, here’s what you’re covered for1:

  • Fire2 or smoke: e.g. from cooking oil or an electrical fault in a kitchen appliance.
  • Water or other liquid damage: e.g. a burst pipe or dishwasher overflowing.
  • Legal liability up to $20 million: e.g. if fire extends to your neighbour’s house.
  • Food and medicine spoilage: e.g. if your fridge or freezer breaks down.

You can also choose to tailor your policy with optional cover, which covers you for specific events. Examples of optional covers at Allianz include1:

  • Motor burnout (e.g. if an electrical current damages your fridge or freezer).
  • Accidental damage (e.g. accidental breakage of cooking surface).

By observing some simple safety measures, you can avoid hazards around your kitchen and keep your family safe. But if something does go wrong, having home and contents insurance may help take care of the financial impact and get you back on your feet faster. Learn more about home and contents insurance and get your quote online.


This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 (“Allianz”). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.

Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

  1. This is a summary only of some of the features and benefits available on Allianz Home Insurance. Before deciding on a policy, carefully consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Supplementary PDS (where applicable) which set out the standard terms, conditions, limits and exclusions.
  2. 72-hour exclusion period may apply.

    We don’t cover any loss of, or damage to your property caused by cyclone, flood, grassfires, and bushfires for the 72 hours after you first buy a policy or increase your cover under an existing one. For full details of conditions and exclusions, refer to the relevant PDS.

Allianz acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and work across Australia. We pay our respect to First Nations Elders past and present.

Any advice here does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions apply. Before making a decision about this insurance, consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)/Policy Wording and Supplementary PDS (if applicable). Where applicable, the PDS/Policy Wording, Supplementary PDS and Target Market Determination (TMD) for this insurance are available on this website. We do not provide any form of advice if you call us to enquire about or purchase a product.

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFS Licence No. 234708 is the insurer of any general insurance products offered, and Allianz Australia Life Insurance Limited ABN 27 076 033 782 AFS Licence No. 296559 is the insurer of any life insurance products offered. Each entity is responsible for any statements and representations made about its products, on this website.