How To Not Burn Down Your Home On Thanksgiving
Nothing spoils a perfect Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends like an untimely house fire. A house fire won’t just spoil your sweet potatoes and ruin your carefully prepared turkey; it will also damage or destroy your property and potentially injure your loved ones.
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving house fires are all too common. In fact, Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires by 3 times the normal daily average. At best a Thanksgiving fire could leave you hungry and stressed out, but it could also leave you homeless and hurting for cash. Fire related insurance losses are often over $33,000 per claim. (Source)
Don’t let a fire ruin your holiday—keep your guests safe and your tummy happy with the following safety tips.
The Do Not’s
There are many things you need to avoid if you want to keep your home safe this Thanksgiving.
Make sure to avoid the following mistakes:
Never leave the stove unattended. This is always important, but it is especially vital if you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you need to step away from the stove for a few minutes, turn it off or get someone to watch the food for you.
Don’t overcrowd cooking appliances. It can be tricky to prepare a whole Thanksgiving dinner in just one kitchen. In an effort to prepare many tasty dishes at once, many people end up crowding appliances together. This makes it harder for the heat created to dissipate, which increases the risk for fires. People also often use power strips on holidays in order to fit more appliances into a small space.
The biggest risk here is the possibility of an electrical fire because appliance crowding can overload your wiring and cause something to short circuit. Prepare some dishes the day before or have guests bring side dishes so you don’t have to overcrowd your kitchen with appliances while preparing Thanksgiving dinner.
Do not consume alcohol before cooking or while you cook. Drinking a glass of wine with your dinner can help make the holiday festivities more relaxing, but don’t bust out the wine (or the scotch) until after you’ve completely finished cooking. (Cooking wine tastes pretty terrible anyway) You’re much more likely to make a dangerous mistake at the stove if you’re under the influence of alcohol.
There are also a few simple things you can do to keep your kitchen safe while you’re cooking the turkey this year. Consider the following ideas:
Do set a kitchen timer and another timer on your phone whenever you have something in the oven.
Do ask guests to bring side dishes so that you don’t have to overwork your kitchen.
Do keep decorations out of the kitchen so that nothing catches fire while you’re cooking.
Do know how to put out kitchen fires. One reason cooking fires are so problematic is that they are harder to put out. You cannot put out a grease fire
with water—instead you have to smother it. Do your homework and make sure you know how to properly handle different types of fires before they spread and cause damage and injuries.
Do keep the kitchen, and especially the area around the stove, very clean and free of clutter. Keep oven mitts in drawers when you are not using them, clean your stove before you start cooking, and roll up your sleeves so that nothing is in the way while you’re cooking.
Do invest in an insurance policy that protects your Vermont or New Hampshire home. Taylor-Moore Agency in Derby, VT can help you evaluate policies and make sure your home is protected this holiday season.
Remember, don’t let the turkey and sweet potatoes go to waste. Use the tips above to keep your home and your loved ones safe this Thanksgiving.