Giving thanks for a well-done holiday
Thanksgiving. The word alone conjures up images of a Norman Rockwell painting: family and friends, fall foliage, football, parades, and turkey with all the trimmings.
It should also bring to mind fire safety.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), cooking is the number one cause of home fires and injuries. And since Thanksgiving is the day when nearly every kitchen in the country is being used, it serves to reason that the day for giving thanks is also the one most popular for fire insurance claims.
Before Turkey Day actually gets here, it’s a good idea to prep your kitchen so that your home is not one of those claims.
In the kitchen
Kitchens get a tremendous workout in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and on the day itself. For that reason alone, it’s necessary to take stock of the space you have.
• Make sure the oven is clean. A build-up of grease from meals-gone-by can easily ignite. Also keep clutter and decorations—like that cute paper turkey the kids made in school—away from hot cooking surfaces.
• It’s easy to get distracted during the holidays. On one hand, there’s kitchen duty; on the other, there is the pressure to visit with guests. Invite others into the kitchen not only to visit, but to help keep you focused on meal preparation. If you’re the guest, be the second set of eyes on the oven.
• While delegating, assign someone the task of keeping children and pets out of the kitchen. It’s very easy to trip on a little one while carrying a heavy roasting pan of turkey and vegetables.
• Avoid wearing loose clothing, long sleeves, and dangling jewelry. These can easily catch fire or become caught on pot handles.
• Speaking of pot handles, keep them turned in so no one can accidentally bump into them.
• Beware of the turkey fryer. Although they provide a tasty alternative to the traditional oven-roasted bird, fryers are highly discouraged by the NFPA because of the great risk for fire and injuries.
• Keep an eye on the candles you use on your Thanksgiving table and around the house. Ambience is nice, but battery-operated candles can create just as much of a holiday glow.
• Have a plan of what to do in case of a kitchen fire–or any fire for that matter. Make sure there is a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, know how to use it, and stay calm.
Don’t forget about the travel
As with planning ahead for a Thanksgiving meal, it’s also wise to plan ahead for a Thanksgiving drive. Remember to be patient and to give yourself time to travel. Also, be aware of your own exhaustion so that you’re not too tired to be behind the wheel.
Seatbelts are a must and pets should be secured.
Finally, travel with a safety kit: flashlight, blanket, first aid kit, snacks, water, and basic tools. It’s also a good idea to make sure the cell phone is fully charged; especially if you are traveling a significant distance to see loved ones.
Thanksgiving is not the time to discover that you’re not as covered as you thought. At Avante Insurance, we want you to enjoy this holiday and all of the holidays to come. We want you to make happy memories for your friends and families.
As always, we’re here to answer your questions and concerns about insurance coverage, liability, and the social host laws in your state. It’s our belief that with a little bit of planning, your Thanksgiving can be a thankful one. Talk to us.