Safety in the kitchen includes maintaining safe cookware. It's a good practice to periodically inspect your pots and pans for signs of handle deterioration or loose screws. When your pot is filled to the brim with a simmering soup, is not the best time to notice the handle is loose.
Cookware handles that are attached by screws tend to loosen over time. Leaving them loose is a recipe for disaster and handles should be repaired once this problem is detected.
It's easy to repair loose handles - a simple clockwise tightening of the screw is usually sufficient. However, these repairs should be done manually with a screwdriver and not with a power driver. Since it may be difficult to control the speed, too much drive to the screw can cause plastic pot handles to crack under pressure. Acrylic pot handles deteriorate after repeated top stove and oven use and can become quite brittle, increasing the risk of cracking.
Cracked handles create a severe hazard with limited repair options. If you have pots with cracked handles, you should discontinue use immediately until you can effect a repair. You may be able to obtain replacement handles from your cookware manufacturer or search flea markets for similar replacement handles. If you are unable to find replacement handles, these pots would be unsafe to use and should be replaced. Check the links below for cookware buying tips.
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