Useful gadgets can also land you in trouble - GulfToday

Useful gadgets can also land you in trouble

Birjees Hussain

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

David Oh

Illustrative image.

Last week more than 80 people were killed and more than a hundred injured when an oxygen cylinder exploded in an Intensive Care Unit in Baghdad. In another accident, a nurse in Manchester decided to try out a microwave poached egg making hack she saw online. When she opened the door of her microwave, the water that she used to poach the egg exploded in her face, causing her to sustain second degree burns. Furthermore, she wasn’t the only one who fell for the hack. There are reports of this hack causing injuries to countless people who’ve tried it after seeing it performed online. Everyone suffered second degree burns from the water and the egg yolk exploding.

Online videos are filled with numerous hacks. Whereas most don’t work, there are others that are dangerous. One hack I saw yesterday was of someone supergluing their fingers together to show how easy it is to unglue them. Whether or not the hack works, and whether or not the comments are genuinely stupid, there are some hacks that can cause a serious injury.

Therefore, I thought this might be a good time to remind the folks at home about the importance of home safety.

Now cylinders of any kind can be highly dangerous. People use them all over the world and there are numerous reports of people getting injured, sometimes it’s fatal, from gas cylinders exploding. So if you smell gas in your kitchen, don’t turn the cooker on or any switch in the kitchen (this also includes lighting a cigarette) and open all doors and windows. If you find that your brand new cylinder does not seem to be dispensing gas, don’t try to tackle it yourself unless you‘ve been properly trained, but call a professional. This smell test also applies to the cylinder on your balcony. If you smell gas on your balcony, have your gas cylinder checked by a professional. It could be leaking because it’s either a faulty cylinder or the connection to your gas pipe has not been tightened properly. Do not try to fiddle with it yourself. Again, get a professional.

Microwaves are extremely useful but there are some things that should never be placed in the microwave. Or if they are placed in the microwave, at the very least, don’t open the door straightaway and wait for the item to cool off. If it’s an enclosed container, don’t open it straightaway so that it can cool off a bit. And when you do open it, try to do it away from your face and hands. Often people have been scalded by cups of tea that were heated in the microwave. What happens is that when the steaming hot microwaved tea is agitated, the superheated molecules in the centre of the tea erupt. When I microwave anything I make sure that the item isn’t in an airtight container. I always allow the lid to be a little offside so that lot of the heat escapes into the rest of the microwave and doesn’t get concentrated in the centre of the liquid like a volcano waiting to erupt. When I heat tea or coffee I give it a good stir to dissipate the concentrated heat before drinking it.

Now since summer is just around the corner, the chances of food spoiling are higher than in the winter months. The problem is that it’s not always easy to tell if something has spoiled. But some things are more obvious than others. For example, it’s obvious, fresh fruit and vegetables have spoiled because they can get mouldy or sticky over time even when they’ve been in the fridge. Fruit juices, on the other hand are tricky, in that often the only way to tell if they’ve gone off is when you drink it and it tastes fermented or if you see bubbles coming up. Hot foods are even trickier in that it’s hard to tell if they’ve gone off. If something has been sitting in the fridge for a while, and I don’t mean the freezer, inspect it carefully before consuming it. In other words, your sense of smell has to be really sharp.

All this really means is that if something is meant to go in the fridge, put it away if you’re not using it. This goes for fruit juices that have been opened and not drunk, dairy products, and salads and fruits that have been cut and peeled.

And one last thing, the kitchen is no place for unsupervised children. If you’re cooking and there’s a chance a toddler will come into the kitchen, you really need to put some kind of barrier at your kitchen door.

Bottom line is to keep your eyes peeled and your sense sharp so that you and your family are safe from accidents.

Birjees Hussain

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