With family, football and (most importantly) food, it’s hard not to love Thanksgiving. One thing that’s easier to not love, though: insurance claims. And according to the American Red Cross, more cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year! The prospect of a mere article reversing this trend is unlikely, but in an attempt to at least keep the joy of Thanksgiving and the hatred of insurance claims separate, the following five steps are designed to make sure your Thanksgiving dinner goes off without a hitch (and without a claim, of course.)
Check Smoke Alarms
The first thing you should do before you get any Thanksgiving cooking underway is check to make sure your smoke alarms are working. Typically, if your smoke alarm is working, it will periodically blink a small green or red light. And if it’s been beeping loudly and you’ve been meaning to get around to changing its batteries, now is the perfect time!
Make Sure You Have A Fire Extinguisher
No one ever wants to have to use a fire extinguisher (except maybe children — they always seem fascinated with the big red sprayers) but regardless, you should always be sure to have one in the kitchen. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, you can pick one up at most grocery stores, convenience stores, or even hardware shops. Chances are, you won’t need to use it this Thanksgiving, but allow this article to insert a well-known mom saying: It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Get As Much Cooking Out Of The Way As Possible
By doing as much cooking before Thanksgiving Day as possible, not only do you allow yourself extra time to relax and enjoy the day with your family, but also you reduce the chance of a stress-related accident in the kitchen, which could result in an insurance claim. What’s more, by getting some dishes out of the way before thanksgiving, you can prevent overloading your oven. Some easy dishes to make beforehand are desserts (especially pies) and cranberry sauce (you can just throw it in the fridge with some saran-wrap — simple as that!)
Avoid Stove top Fires
Whenever you’re in the kitchen, you should take steps to avoid stovetop fires, but on Thanksgiving, this is especially important. Make sure not to wear anything too loose and keep other things (towels, pot holders, utensils, food packaging, etc.) away front he stove. Most people who are in the kitchen often already know these little tips, but if this is the first time you’re doing most of the Thanksgiving cooking, then you should be mindful of easy precautions.
Be careful if you’re frying a turkey
We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of people who went gung-ho into turkey frying for their Thanksgiving dinner, without knowing too much about the proper procedures. In these cases, the oil typically overflows as a result of the turkey not being fully thawed, or there is too much oil in the tank, which ends in an undesirable Thanksgiving for everyone involved. Sometimes, the oil just catches on fire as a result of bad handling as well. Case in point — there are myriad ways for turkey frying to go wrong. And with this in mind, it’s advised that definitely know what you’re doing, if you choose to fry your turkey.
You should fry your turkey on a flat surface, away from any structures; make sure not to fill the oil too full; and keep a fire extinguisher and phone nearby (in case you need to call 911.)
Written by Bill Kasmann, owner of Kasmann Insurance, an independent insurance company providing services such as home and auto insurance in Columbia, MO.