Fire Safety: Don’t Let Your Thanksgiving Feast Go Up in Flames

It's officially November, and you know what that means. It means we'll be spending every day thinking about that Thanksgiving feast and all the festivities that are a part of the holiday. Despite all the joy of the celebration, preparing and cooking the feast can seem a bit stressful. You've got your oven on, the stovetop on high, the microwave running, and then the worst happens a fire! 

No one ever plans for their turkey to go up in flames, but it can happen with all those appliances running on high. Knowing what your homeowner's insurance covers is important, just in case this scenario becomes a reality.

Turkey Day Brings Risks

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three times as many cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving as on a typical day. In fact, Thanksgiving has a 250 percent increase in cooking fires when compared to the daily average. Cooking is also the leading cause of home fires year-round, the NFPA says. 

If a fire occurs in your home, you will be held responsible. When buying homeowner's insurance, check that your dwelling coverage limits match the full replacement cost of your home, garage, sheds, and other detached buildings. Also, check your liability limits. The more guests you have, the higher the likelihood that one will be injured in a fire. Even without a fire, the more activity taking place in the household, the greater the risk of a fall or other injury.

Tips to Avoid A Fire

Fortunately, you can take steps to lower your risk of a fire at Thanksgiving.

  • Stay focused on the food. Set a timer to remind you when to take items off the stove or out of the oven.
  • Don't leave the room. In 70 percent of kitchen fires, the cook had left the kitchen during cooking.
  • Don't cook if you're sleepy or have had too much to drink.
  • Clear clutter away from cooking appliances.
  • Wear close-fitting clothing to prevent it from catching fire on stove burners.
  • Clean up grease from burners and stovetops.
  • Completely thaw the turkey before cooking it.
  • Always use a turkey fryer outdoors on a flat surface. When frying other menu items inside, use a thermometer to ensure the temperature doesn't go any higher than 375 degrees.
  • Keep pot lids handy in case a grease fire starts. If it does, turn off the burner, put the lid on the pan, and keep it there until the pan cools.
  • If an oven fire or microwave fire starts, turn off the appliance and close the door until it cools. Then have the appliance serviced before using it again.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby and ready to go, but never use a fire extinguisher or water on a grease fire. Discharging a fire extinguisher or throwing water on a grease fire will spread it.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly.
  • Keep children and pets at least six feet away from the stove.

How to Minimize Risks on Thanksgiving

You can further minimize risks on Thanksgiving by:

  • Researching the social host liability laws in your state, so you know your legal liability.
  • Making safety a priority. Check batteries and alarms in your smoke detectors, and always be mindful of what you have going on in the kitchen. 
  • Contacting your Arnold Insurance Executive to make sure you have enough insurance coverage. Our home insurance provides peace of mind by providing financial protection in case of a fire or any other type of disaster. It also protects in case one of your guests is injured on your property. Plan ahead so that if the unexpected happens, you'll be covered.


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