I used to be a total disaster in the kitchen. I mean, seriously, I could barely boil an egg until I went away to university and then I was thrust in at the deep end with learning how to cook. After a term of living off ready meals I was determined to learn how to cook once I came back to uni after the Christmas holidays.
I remember phoning mum and asking her how to cook mushrooms then another time cooking sirloin steak in a casserole which resulted in the steak disintegrating in to nothing - note to self, use a tougher cut of beef in future.
A lot of it was trial and error but as Tom often reminded me, we only learn from our mistakes, not from what we get right - he had his teacher hat on with that comment!
One kitchen error I did learn from very quickly was the importance of using a timer and keeping an eye on what you are cooking.
For my 13th birthday my parents agreed that I could have a sleepover with some friends. I was so excited as at that age sleepovers were the highlight of a weekend. We had a great time staying up and obsessing over our love of boybands (Westlife for the win!). The following morning the good host that I am offered to make everyone breakfast. I popped some bread in the toaster and in the excitement of having my friends over I went to join them in the lounge closing the kitchen door behind me. It must have only been 10 minutes that had passed when one of my friends asked where the toast was. I realised I had totally forgotten about it and went straight to the kitchen. I opened the door to be greeted to a room full of smoke. Thankfully there was no fire and after opening the windows and doors the room soon cleared but it did make me realise how easily things can go wrong.
The popping bit on the toaster didn't work so the bread carried on toasting and thus started smoking. We were so lucky that I went in to the kitchen when I did otherwise the outcome may have been quite different. It was an event though that has stuck with me and made me more careful in when cooking especially now that I have my own house and have a young child that I will need to teach kitchen safety to in the future.
It's so easy to forget about something cooking if you are distracted by and it's even worse if the electrical item you are using is at fault. Back then I didn't know that the toaster would play up but I now try to be quite observant around the home and tell Tom as soon as something isn't right.
Shortly after we moved in to our new house I was in the kitchen one day and heard a clicking noise. I mentioned it to Tom and he shut the power off and did some investigating. He discovered the previous owners (who were useless at DIY but that's a story for another day) had incorrectly fitted a plug socket and water had got in to it over the years causing it to crumble inside. It really was an accident waiting to happen. Thankfully we got it sorted but it just goes to show that something can go wrong very easily.
The UK Charity, Electrical Safety First have shared this video and their top fire safety tips showing the importance of fire safety in the home. Make sure you test your smoke alarms and if you are in doubt about the reliability of your appliances then get them checked out.
***This is a collaborative post, all words are my own***