Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

Keeping You and You Family Safe this Holiday Season
Posted: November 07, 2018 by Amanda Martin

Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time of the year. It’s a time to spend with friends and family, to look back on a year with gratitude, and maybe get a head start on holiday shopping. However, according to the National Fire Protection Association, it is also peak time for home cooking fires. This can possibly result in some pretty significant damage costs and charges. Avoid the chaos and stay safe this Thanksgiving with the tips below.

As mentioned, kitchens can be a hectic place for the holidays. In 2015, it was estimated there were more than 1,700 cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving. Many of which can be avoided. The #1 thing is to never leave the stove unattended- always keep near and watch food on the stove. Make sure that the tops of stoves are clear with nothing on top of or near the stove top such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, dish towels, etc that could catch ablaze.

Make sure smoke alarms are in working order and check the alarms by pressing the test button on your unit. It is absolutely essential to have a working fire extinguisher nearby as well. If a small grease fire breaks out do not pour anything on it such as water or salt. This will not help, smother flame with pot lid if safe enough to do so and use extinguisher as needed.

A large part of holiday house damages could be attributed to deep fryers with over $6 million in property damage costs between the years 2002-2015. Please observe extreme caution when using a deep fryer. They need to be used in well-ventilated areas outdoors away from walls or moisture on top of a sturdy level surface. Make sure that the turkey is completely thawed and thoroughly dried as water from a frozen turkey does not mix well with oil in the fryer and can result in an explosion. Follow instructions that come with fryer very carefully.

When traveling for the holidays it is important to plan ahead. If you are going to away from your house for any extended period of time, be cautious and make arrangements beforehand. First secure the home, locking all doors and windows. Never leave access to your home by using a hide a key or having ladders outside your home. Arrange for someone to pick up your mail or call the post office to temporarily suspend delivery so it is not obvious that you are not home. If possible have a trusted neighbor or family member move cars out of the driveway periodically. If you have automatic lights put them on timers and set any alarms that you have installed.

Another couple things to keep in mind; Don’t leave unwatched candles out. Watch children and pets by keeping them away from wires or any choking hazards. Giving leftover turkey bones to your dog may seem like a nice treat for them but they are hollow inside and can hurt your pet. Children should not be in the kitchen unless under adult supervision. If they wish to help get dinner ready, try to direct them towards a safe task such as setting the table.

During the holiday season, your mind should be focused on your family and guests. Destress the process and plan ahead so you can be worry-free and rock this holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

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