Thanksgiving is a festive time of year when homes are full of friends and family and activity is centered around the kitchen. Cooking and baking in preparation for the feast usually means kitchen countertops are covered in appliances and a smattering of ingredients, while ovens and microwaves are being put to good use. All of this activity may be joyful and exciting, but underneath are risks to your property that can be avoided with proper preparation.
Did you know that the National Fire Protection Association reports Thanksgiving as the number one day for home-cooking fires? Unfortunately, this means that property damage claims and injuries can result from unexpected accidents while cooking and preparing for Thanksgiving.
As the holiday draws closer, we are sharing some ways you can avoid injury and property damage.
Check Smoke Alarms
It may seem obvious, but all too often, fires begin in homes where owners have let the maintenance on smoke alarms lapse. Or perhaps even worse, smoke alarms aren’t installed at all.
For your family’s complete safety, you want to make sure you have a functioning smoke alarm in or near the kitchen, near every sleeping area, and on each level of your home. Make it a priority to check or replace batteries in all your smoke alarms at least once per year.
Remove Fire Hazards
In the spirit of the holidays, it’s easy to decorate with items that are fun and seasonal, but sometimes we forget that some of the items may create an unintentional fire hazard. Do a thorough review of the area near your stove and remove anything that could easily catch fire. This can include, but is not limited to, hand towels, plastic bags, wooden utensils, or hot pads and oven mitts.
According to the U.S. Fire Department, more than 4,000 fires start on Thanksgiving Day. Using a deep fryer to cook turkeys results in about five fatalities, 50 injuries, and the cause of nearly $15 million in property damage each year.
There are several things you can do to avoid a disastrous situation if you plan to use a deep fryer. Safety begins with your protection first. Wear a fire safe apron and use mitts that cover and protect your arms during the frying process. You want to avoid any bubbling hot oil or the heat from the fryer causing any harm to your clothing or body.
If utilizing a fryer to cook your turkey outdoors, make sure to place the fryer away from any building or roof overhang, and cook the turkey in a well-ventilated location. This will prevent your property from catching fire in the event of a flareup. Make sure the oil is the proper temperature and consider utilizing a splash mat under your fryer in case of oil spillage during the frying process.
Once you have finished cooking the turkey, it is important to always discard the oil and grease in sealed containers and dispose of it in the proper locations. Never discard oil or grease down your sink drains or toilets, as this can cause a blockage in your plumbing system. The result could then lead to water damage to your property from clogged plumbing lines.
General Kitchen Safety
Kitchen safety is important all year round. Follow these additional tips to ensure your next family gathering is safe:
By following these safety suggestions, you can make sure that you and your guests have a great Turkey Day while also keeping everyone safe year-round.
Has Your Property Been Damaged?
Has your property been damaged by fire, water, wind, or other causes? Our experienced public adjusters at Reliant Insurance Adjusters understand that filing a claim can be difficult and frustrating, especially during the holidays.
We will handle the entire claim process for you. We create thorough damage estimates along with videos and photos, so you do not have to worry about taking on any of the work or stress that comes along with properly filing your insurance claim. Whether you have a new, underpaid or denied insurance claim, contact us to schedule an appointment.
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