4 Safety Precautions to Take When Using a Pottery Kiln
If you make pottery, then sooner or later you’re going to need a pottery kiln. This will allow you to fire your own pottery, without have to seek a kiln elsewhere. However, when you use a pottery kiln, there are vital things to know to keep you safe. By following these tips, you can be certain you’ll keep yourself out of danger. Remember that the temperatures in a kiln easily exceed 1000 degrees, making them very dangerous indeed.
Never open the kiln while it’s in operation. You should never open the door of the kiln until the it has had time to cool completely. If you don’t follow this direction, you will almost certainly be badly burned. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using the pottery kiln, and always have emergency numbers posted near the kiln. That way, in the event of an emergency, you save vital time.
It’s vital to have good safety gear when using a pottery kiln. You need the correct type of oven mitt to handle the pottery. This will be a specialized type, able to withstand higher temperatures. They should be gauntlet type gloves, to protect both hands and forearms. Additionally, have special safety goggles. Unlike the standard ones you buy at the hardware store, these too need to be able to withstand higher temperatures without melting. They should be available at the place where you bought the pottery kiln.
When you’re using a pottery kiln it’s quite possible that dangerous gases can be released. Ensure that the kiln is fire up in a very well-ventilated area. Be alert for any symptoms such as headache, dizziness or drowsiness when using the kiln. These could be strong indicators of elevated levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Having a working CO detector in the area can give early warning on excessive levels of carbon monoxide in the area.
Where you experience any of the symptoms, move outside and call emergency services. Of course, the pottery kiln needs to be properly ventilated according to manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t try and cut corners on this, as failure to do so can cause death.
Most pottery kilns are electric. When connecting them up, you need to have the plug going directly into an outlet. Never plug a pottery kiln into an extension cord, that’s simply asking for trouble and overloading the circuit, which could possibly cause a fire. Make sure the area around the kiln is kept clear of all debris. This cuts down on the possibility of fires starting. If at all possible, the kiln should be placed in a separate room that’s otherwise unused. This stops the possibility of people brushing against it accidentally.
Maintenance is also important, to prevent possible malfunctions. Keep records of what you’ve done and when, and follow the maintenance schedule laid down by the manufacturer. If you have any problems with the kiln, repair them before you use it again. Failure to do so can compromise the safety of the unit.