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Safety in the kitchen

Safety in the kitchen

The accidents that occur in our homes contrast with the way we usually consider them, i.e. as the safest places on earth. It is this basic idea that makes it difficult to clearly perceive the risks and dangers lurking in our homes. These risks are often underestimated even by adults; accidents in the home, that don’t spare any age group, are the main cause of death amongst children.
The kitchen is the room in the home where the greatest number of accidents occur and these are often due to wrong furniture installation.
This manual has been prepared for the installer, but also for the end user, and contains useful advice to prevent accidents, even serious ones, in our homes.


Child safety

A - The socket inside the back section can be used to connect kitchen appliances. It is very useful for the oven because the power supply can be interrupted by a dipole switch, thus preventing children from accidentally switching the oven on.
B - Detergents are usually stored below the sink, an easily accessible place for children. It is a good idea to keep them in a container with a safety lock.
C - Children love pots and pans. To prevent burns, a guard should be fitted in front of the hob.
D - Sometimes, attracted by some object located on the worktop, children climb onto handles and pullout drawers. If the kitchen is wall-hung, it must be provided with a safe wall-fixing system.

E - It is preferable to choose the latest generation of cool-touch ovens with a tangential fan that ensures efficient heat insulation. These ovens keep the door cool even when food is cooking inside, avoiding burns that can sometimes be serious.
F - Tower units must have wall-fixing systems that are tested to prevent them from capsizing in the event of children climbing on them.
G - It is a good idea to add clips or magnets to drawers and jumbo drawers to prevent children from opening them. This way they are prevented from hurting themselves when they shut them and from reaching the objects located inside (detergents, knives, etc.).
H - If a child climbs onto a pullout drawer or if all the jumbo drawers of a kitchen island are pulled out together, the unit is quite likely to capsize. To avoid this it is necessary to fix base units with drawers and jumbo drawers to the floor using capsize-prevention brackets.

I - The hob must be provided with a safety valve that stops the gas supply if the flame is not ignited and interrupts its supply if the flame accidently goes out.
L - If doors or drawers have a hole instead of a handle, it is a good idea to check that it is not too small. A child may slip his/her finger through the hole and fracture it by moving it around.
M - All the glass parts of the kitchen (shelves, doors, etc.) must be tempered for better resistance to impact and to other types of stress.
N - Install a master switch out of the reach of children to interrupt the power supply to the oven. Children are attracted by oven knobs and can easily switch the oven on if they play with them.

O - It is preferable to install the hob near the sink to avoid having to walk a long distance holding red hot pots and pans that may be dangerous, especially if children are nearby.
P - Make sure that wall unit fixings have been tested for resistance to heavy weights and that they can be adjusted in height and depth.
Q - In general, sharp edged elements are used in modern kitchens and these can become very dangerous for children. It is preferable to choose a kitchen that has rounded doors, handles and knobs.
R - It is not a good idea to install the hob near a window because an incoming draught could turn the hob flame out and swaying curtains, perhaps moved by a child, could catch fire.

Toxic Emissions Monitoring

Monitoring toxic gas
The air we breathe in our kitchen can become polluted by the toxic emissions from the stains and glues used to make furniture. At Valcucine, we do sample testing to make sure that our kitchen cabinet components do not release volatile substances into the air that can damage your health. We also check to be sure that our products are not contaminated with artificial radioactivity, respecting most restrictive standards of formaldehyde emissions.

Artificial radioactivity
Nuclear disasters like Chernobyl create artificial radioactivity that is absorbed by plants (and therefore wood) and then released into the atmosphere even after long periods of time. Since the quantity of toxic presence varies according to the lumber’s place of origin, Valcucine does sample testing to make sure that the wood it uses does not come from areas severely polluted by radioactivity.

Chipboard panels contain ureic glue, a substance that emits formaldehyde continuously for years. Even though it is now known to be carcinogenic. Regardless of the fact that Italy and many other countries set no standards for levels of formaldehyde emissions, Valcucine builds there products to meet stringent Japanes standards for emissions called F(4 stars). Invitrum base units are completely free.

Synthetic paints
Even long after we buy it, furniture treated with synthetic paints give off volatile toxic substances in our homes. Valcucine does special testing to analyze the pollution caused by these substances. This table shows the amounts and types of volatile organic substances in a 1 m2 surface painted with acrylic products diluted with synthetic thinners. In our continuous effort to avoid emission of toxic substances from synthetic solvents, we have developed a paint cycle where solvents were substituted with water.We have also created a natural oil- and wax-based surface finish with orange-peel oil extract solvent.

Water-based paint
One of the most serious pollution problems in cabinet making is the evaporation of the synthetic paint solvents. A medium-sized furniture maker releases tons of solvents into the air every day, polluting the area around it. Micro-evaporation of these solvents continues afterwards for even longer periods, polluting the area where the piece of furniture is located. To the full advantage of the end user, of operators in the furniture sector and of the villages that surround the factories, Valcucine, after years of tests and of continuous research, has adopted, for solid wood and for veneered doors and panels, a cycle of water-based varnish that drastically reduces toxic emissions. Our innovative capacity continues to pave the way for improvement in the industry. We have been pleased to see some of our competitors adopt similar practices. As the saying goes, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. At Valcucine we are eager to see all industry work for an improvement in our environment and health.

Mould in the Kitchen

How can I prevent mould from forming in the corners?

A - The kitchen is a room in which relative humidity is very high on the ceiling and unless the heat bridge has been eliminated during construction, condensation problems may arise and mould may form.
B - There are special insulating paints available on the market that avoid the temperature from dropping due to the heat bridge on the ceiling thus preventing the formation of mould.
C - The ideal solution is to add a good thermal insulator to the exterior of the ceiling to completely eliminate the heat bridge and all its negative consequences.