Thanksgiving is a time for food… and fire.
Did you know that the U.S. fire department estimates that there are around 1,400 home cooking fires during Thanksgiving? Yikes. Thanksgiving can be a stressful time, so it’s no surprise that there are accidents. To make sure that your home isn’t a casualty this holiday season, keep these tips in mind for a risk-free Thanksgiving:
#1 Cook Carefully
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that kitchen fires are likely to happen during Thanksgiving. It’s no surprise since the kitchen can be incredibly busy, thanks to the chaos of cooking. Avoid a house fire by practicing these preventive tips as you cook your Thanksgiving turkey:
- Never leave your stove, oven, etc. unattended.
- Keep the turkey fryer away from flammable materials.
- Check if the smoke alarms are in working condition.
- Keep a fire extinguisher at the ready.
Another safety tip is to stay far away from water. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that combining it with electricity can be dangerous. Always dry your hands when plugging and unplugging kitchen appliances so you don’t shock yourself.
It would also be wise to hire a property management company to check if your kitchen is in working order. They’ll check the smoke alarms, cooking appliances, etc. so you won’t have any hiccups over Thanksgiving.
#2 Keep the Kids Away
Kids shouldn’t be in the kitchen while you’re cooking the Thanksgiving dinner. Since they’ll likely want to know what you’re up to, set up a space for play to stop them from snooping. It’s going to be hard to hire a babysitter, so the best you can do is to keep them out of the kitchen, and anywhere else where you’ll be working. By creating a distraction, you can ensure they don’t cause any accidents.
If you’re hiring a holiday decorator, ask them to make an indoor entertainment area for the kids. They won’t be tempted to poke around the house, as they’ll likely be distracted by the decorations in their area.
#3 Secure the Home
Not spending the holidays in your house? Be sure to set up a security system. Break-ins are likely to happen during Thanksgiving because burglars know that the homeowners aren’t around. Install a burglar alarm that triggers the outdoor lights to turn on. You should also consider smart alarms like the Ring Alarm that call the police in case of a break-in. For smart homes, setting a timer for the outdoor lights to turn at a certain time can deter criminals.
You could also go for the “traditional” route by informing your neighbors that you’ll be away for the holidays. They can keep an eye on your house and let you know in case there’s any suspicious activity. Similarly, you can ask your property management company to check your property while you’re away.
#4 Stay Safe in the Kitchen
You don’t want your outfit to cause disaster. When cooking, wear long sleeves to reduce the risk of cuts and burns. Avoid loose sleeves as they can catch on fire when you raise them over the stove.
You’re more likely to cut yourself with an unsharpened knife, so be sure to keep its blade well-maintained by drawing it down a whetstone. Furthermore, to avoid accidents, make sure that drunk individuals don’t handle knives in the kitchen. More importantly, kids should not play with kitchen knives.
#5 Keep Your Workstation Clean
Don’t risk food poisoning during Thanksgiving. That’s not the type of gift your guests would want to get. Hence, thoroughly wash your hands, vegetables, fruits, etc., and make sure that the entire workstation is sparkling clean. If necessary, hire professional cleaners to clean the food preparation surfaces.
Since salmonella is a serious issue, especially during the holidays, don’t forget to defrost your meats properly. Don’t thaw them out in the open, but instead, thaw them inside the refrigerator because it’s safer. If you’re in a rush, you can thaw the meat in the microwave. Additionally, if you have leftovers, prevent spoilage by storing them in food-grade containers within two hours. If you left the food outdoors, pop them in the refrigerator after one hour.
#6 Protect Your Pets
Understandably, you’d want your pets to be part of the holiday festivities. After all, they are family. Unfortunately, your pets will have to sit the holiday out. While it can be tempting to treat them to your table scraps, these can be harmful — often fatal — to their health. Instead, consider preparing a tasty tray of pet-friendly treats, and place it far from the table. That way, your cheeky pets won’t be able to make “puppy dog eyes” at you.
#7 Get Homeowner’s Insurance
Don’t wait until it’s too late to get homeowner’s insurance. Homeowner’s insurance can protect your property from accidents that can occur during the holiday season. It can also protect you from financial losses. By getting homeowner’s insurance, you can rest assured that your property is protected in case of accidents, such as fire, slip-and-falls, and so on.
If you don’t have homeowner’s insurance, here is an overview of what’s covered:
In case your house is damaged due to fire, vandalism, and other “covered disasters”, your insurance company will “pay” you to repair your property. They can even cover the entire cost to restore the structure from the ground up. However, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover free-standing structures such as storage sheds.
In addition, your personal possessions are covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. It’s worth mentioning that if you own valuables such as fine jewelry, you should consider purchasing a separate policy. Your standard homeowner’s insurance policy won’t be enough to cover these high-priced possessions.
Let’s say that your guest falls down the stairs, and they end up breaking their back. If you don’t have homeowner’s insurance, you’ll likely pay for their medical costs out-of-pocket. On the other hand, with homeowner’s insurance, your insurer will pay their medical costs. Similarly, if your family attends a Thanksgiving dinner and your kid breaks the host’s one-of-a-kind vase, you’ll be covered by your insurance policy, too.
Ready to Have a Happy Thanksgiving?
Don’t spend Thanksgiving thinking about what could go wrong. While it’s important to put safety at the forefront, it’s also important to have a happy holiday with your loved ones. That’s what property managers are here to do — they’re here to make sure your home is risk-free for Thanksgiving. At Luxury Property Care, we provide homeowners with a variety of property management services to give them peace of mind. From making sure your smoke detectors work to decorating your home (safely) for the season, we do the work we know you don’t want to do.