Thanksgiving is a treasured tradition. However, it is also the most likely time for a home cooking fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association’s 2020 Home Cooking Fires report, a Thanksgiving Day fire is 250 percent more likely than any other day.
Cooking fires are dangerous and costly. The average claim per fire is $6,900, however one could easily cost much more. Luckily, your homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or condo insurance policy will pay for damages up to your policy limit. It may also pay for meals, a hotel, and commute expenses if your home in uninhabitable and your policy includes “additional living expenses” coverage.
Nonetheless, the best tactic is always prevention. Follow these tips to protect you, your loved, ones and your home from Thanksgiving disasters.
Don’t fry your turkey – the National Fire Protection Association states turkey friers can be a serious fire hazard. They must be used outdoors. The chances of a disaster increases exponentially if you use the device indoors or fry a frozen bird. If you doubt this claim, take a look at this video.
Attend to your meal – Don’t run to the store while your turkey’s cooking in the oven. Stay in the kitchen when food is bubbling on the stovetop too. If you’re not nearby, a fire can erupt at any time and get out of control very quickly.
Keep cooking area clear – Clear away packages, towels, and oven mitts from the area. Don’t wear clothing with dangling sleeves either. Any of these items could come in contact with a burner or hot pan and ignite.
Stay alert – If you’re tired and groggy, it probably isn’t the best time to consider cooking a meal. Don’t drink alcohol and cook either. It can impair your judgment. Save the refreshments for meal time.
Keep kids and animals out of cooking areas – Pets and children love to hang out where food is being prepared. However, they can get under your feet and cause you to drop scalding hot food. Tuck away the animals and give the children a snack to keep them occupied.
Buy a fire extinguisher – If you don’t have one, buy a Class B extinguisher rated for fires involving flammable liquids such as kitchen grease. A small fire in a pot can me smothered with a lid. If fire breaks out in the oven, turn it off and keep the door closed.
Never throw water on a grease fire. It can make the fire worse. Water will vaporize and send grease droplets flying.
Check smoke alarms – Whether your smoke alarms are battery-powered or hardwired, it is a good idea to check whether they actually work. Before you test them, shoo the children and pets out of the area.
Call 9-1-1 – If you can’t put out a kitchen fire immediately, get out of the house and call 9-1-1. Don’t go back in until the fire department instructs you to do so. They’ll ensure it is safe and the fire is out for good.
Check your insurance coverage – Your insurance will cover damage caused by an accidental fire. However, it’s up to you to check whether you have enough coverage. If you’re not sure, give us a call. We can review your coverage with you ensure that you have all of the right protections in place.