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Thanksgiving Dinner

As you arrange the dinner table and prepare to greet guests on Thanksgiving, consider keeping an eye on the stove because home-cooking fires peak on this national holiday. Every year, thousands of properties catch fire costing millions in damages.

“With statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration suggesting that Thanksgiving fires are directly related to the cooking aspect of the holiday, there are several things hosts can do to eliminate fire hazards,” said Doug Mayhew, President and CEO of OceanPoint Insurance. “One mistake many individuals make is in trying to control the fire, which puts not only themselves at risk, but also the safety of their family.”

Thanksgiving will remain a popular holiday in the United States for many years to come, but OceanPoint Insurance encourages you to read these Thanksgiving fire safety precautions that could help make the holiday a little safer.

Stay close to the stove

With some turkeys taking over four hours to fully cook in the oven, many hosts leave the kitchen to entertain guests. This is one of the leading contributors of fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Although it may seem inconvenient, remember your guests are there to spend time with you and your family so it’s likely they’ll want to join you in the kitchen if you simply ask.

Keep flammable items away

While 72 percent of fires on Thanksgivings can be attributed to cooking, flammable cloths and other fire hazards can exacerbate a fire. Hosts and people near the stove should avoid wearing loose fitting clothes when dealing with flaming pots because clothes can easily catch on fire. Keep an eye out for flammable objects near the stovetop such as towels or wooden spoons as well.

Have a potluck

With hosts cooking multiple dishes at the same time, it’s no coincidence that fires emerge from overcooked food items. Hosts can reduce the chance of a home fire by asking guests to bring in a dish. This allows hosts to place their undivided attention on cooking the turkey. By asking guests to bring in food, they may also feel more involved on this festive holiday.

Make sure all fire alarms are working 

While many homes are equipped with fire alarms, nearly three out of five deaths from home fires occurred in homes where the alarm was not working properly.  If you have to step out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving, a working fire alarm could give you or your guests ample warning to evacuate the home. It’s a small detail worth covering before Thanksgiving that could save someone’s life.

Although most Thanksgiving fires are covered under homeowners insurance, there is no amount of money that can reimburse damaged relationships or loss of life. With Thanksgiving around the corner, OceanPoint Insurance hopes you heed these fire safety precautions to keep your family safe this November. For other ways to protect your family, speak with an OceanPoint Insurance agent at (401) 847-5200 or send us an email at info@oceanpointins.com.

shutterstock_341191424For most families, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the festive weeks to come. While the holidays are a wonderful time of year, they can also pose many dangers.

Thanksgiving is the leading day for cooking fires, with three times as many cooking fires taking place than on an average day. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in 2013, Thanksgiving Day was the leading date for home cooking fires with 1,550, 230% above the average number of fires per day.

Keeping fire and cooking safety top of mind during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there is a lot of activity and people at home. Below are some safety tips you can follow to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday:

  • Remain in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen, remember to turn off the stove.
    • According to the NFPA, unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths. Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and associated civilian injuries and was the third leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • Make sure kids stay away from the stove, hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables or gravy could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you do not trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
  • If you experience an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Although a popular cooking method, turkey fryers are very dangerous if used incorrectly.

  • Only use a turkey fryer outdoors, away from trees and wooden structures.
  • Never place a frozen turkey into the fryer, because the mixture of ice and oil can cause flare-ups, or hot-oil explosions.
  • If using propane, leave at least two feet between the tank and the burner.
  • Turkeys weighing more than 12 pounds are unsafe to fry, which is why we recommend turkeys between 8 and 10 pounds if you consider frying a turkey.
  • Do not stuff or marinade the turkey if you are planning to fry it.
  • When finished, remove the pot from the burner and cover it for at least 24-hours before emptying the oil.

For more information on how to keep your home safe, call OceanPoint Insurance at 401-847-5200.