Tips for a Successful Thanksgiving

29 Nov

Thanksgiving is just a few days and while it is a great time to gather your family, enjoy a delicious meal and contemplate everything you are thankful for, the quickest way to ruin the holiday is having to make a homeowners claim.

A full house and a hot oven can lead to slips, trips, and even fires that will not only ruin your gathering but will result in an expensive claim. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), nearly 4,300 fires happen on Thanksgiving, which result in roughly 15 deaths and $27 million in property damage. Deep-frying a turkey is responsible for a large number of those fires.

Even if you don’t plan on dunking a turkey in a boiling pot of oil there are other risks you should be aware of on Thanksgiving. Here are just a few tips on how to prepare for and stay safe during the Thanksgiving holiday:

Stay Out of the Kitchen – The kitchen should be for cooks only. A busy kitchen is ripe for a trip, fall or a burn if someone knocks a pan of boiling water off the stove. In addition, stovetops and ovens are hot and could easily lead to a burn. While non-cooks should be out of the kitchen, there should always be one cook in there keeping an eye on things. A small kitchen fire can quickly grow out of control.

Avoid Slips – Consider putting down mats or throw rugs in the kitchen and entryways to help avoid slips and falls. Mop up spills or water immediately. Slips and falls can cause serious injuries and result in a claim on your homeowners liability policy.

Make Sure Furniture is Secure – A wobbly chair or an incorrectly installed table leaf can lead to disaster and injury. Check your furniture before company arrives and if there are any issues have them fixed or take the chair out of rotation to avoid an accident.

Lock Up Medicines – Keep all medicines and prescription drugs locked up. The last thing you want is guests or children getting access to over the counter or prescription drugs.

Keep Knives Away from Kids – Keep knives away from kids especially if you are using an electric knife to cut the turkey. A serious cut or accidental stabbing will quickly bring your family gathering to an end.

Check Your Smoke Detectors – Unfortunately, house fires are common on Thanksgiving Day so make sure that your smoke detectors are in working order and replace the batteries if necessary. If a fire does break out you want to be sure you and your guests are promptly warned.

If You Are Frying a Turkey – A fried turkey can be a tasty treat but they are responsible for numerous fires every year. Here are a few guidelines for frying up a bird:

  • Use only an approved turkey fryer. It should have four legs and include a built-in thermostat so proper oil temperature can be maintained. Be sure it is set up in an area where it cannot tip over, which is a major cause of fires.
  • Set fryer up outdoors, well away from buildings. Never use a fryer indoors.
  • Carefully follow all instructions in regards to the size of the turkey, how it should be cooked and the type of oil to use.
  • Completely thaw the turkey and dry it. Never stuff the bird and don’t forget to take the gizzards. Lower the turkey into the oil slowly.
  • Do not leave the fryer unattended and be sure to wear gloves.

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday, hopefully these tips will keep you and your family safe.

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