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Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

Nov 17, 2017

Some Thanksgivings are more memorable than others– and while Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be perfect, it should be safe.

Water claims, robberies and home fires are just a few of the hazards that can dampen holiday cheer. Follow these tips to prevent the most common types of claims that strike around Thanksgiving.

Tips for Hosts

As the host with the most, make sure your guests are safe and comfortable during their visit. Whether you’re taking on the majority of the cooking, or hosting a pot-luck, keep these tips in mind for a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

– Most cooking fires are the result of unattended cooking. While there are always distractions when hosting, don’t walk away from a stove or appliance in use.

– Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing while cooking since the fabric can ignite.

– Keep a fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen and make sure everyone in your family knows how to use it.

– If a fire starts in a pan on your stove, turn off the stove and cover the pan with a lid (or use your fire extinguisher to put it out). Never try to douse a stove fire with water, flour, or similar substances since they can cause a flare-up.

– If you fry the turkey, do it outside. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has reported that holiday deep-fryer fires destroy 900 homes and cause more than $15 million in property damage annually.

– Never leave candles unattended near children, pets, or flammable items. Fire departments in the U.S. respond to more than 11, 600 home fires caused by candles each year, resulting in more than $438 million in property damage.

– Never dispose of hot grease in the garbage. Instead, let it cool and then discard it in a covered metal can (like a coffee can).

– Before going to bed, make sure the oven, turkey fryer/BBQ, and stove burners are off, candles are extinguished, and the chimney damper (if you have a fireplace) is open.

Tips for Travelers

An estimated 43.4 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home over Thanksgiving weekend — and 90 percent of those will travel by car. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’re headed out on the road.

– Leave yourself extra time— especially if the weather is poor. With so many cars on the road, slow traffic is a given. But, if you aren’t in a rush, you’ll be less stressed, more patient, and less likely to experience an accident.

– Make sure items in your car are secured so they won’t become a hazard if you have to brake suddenly. If you’re transporting food, use containers with tight-fitting lids to keep you from lunging to prevent spills or protect your homemade goodies.

– A car full of loved ones can be a major distraction on the roadway. Properly secure your pets with a harness or a crate and provide kids with enough activities to keep them entertained.

Tips for Extended Travelers

If you’re headed out for an extended time this Thanksgiving, be sure to take some precautions before you go so you don’t come home to a nasty surprise.

– Never announce your travel plans on social media. A study has found that 4 out of 5 burglars used social media sites like Facebook to pin-point unoccupied properties. If you must let people know of your travels, do so in-person or over the phone.

– If freezing temperatures are expected in your area while you’ll be away, be sure to prepare your property. Wrap exposed pipes with foam or towels and duct tape to prevent pipe bursts, property damage, and home flooding.

– Clean your rain gutters of leaves and debris to prevent flooding if there’s a storm while you’re gone. Once done, be sure to put away the ladder so a thief can’t use it to access upper windows or scale your fence.

– If you have a security system in place, be sure to set your alarm as you leave. These types of systems can detect break-ins, fires and even directly alert authorities in the case of an occurrence.

– If possible, make it seem like someone’s home while you’re away. Put some of your lights on a timer and have a trusted neighbor or friend collect your mail and newspapers. Also asking them to occasionally move any vehicles left at home, so they do not obviously appear unused. Just make sure you trust their driving abilities before you give them permission behind the wheel.

– Be sure to bolt all exterior doors, lock all windows and close any garage doors. One-third of home burglaries are the result of unforced entry, where thieves are able to get in through an unlocked door or window.

Check Your Coverage

Whether you celebrate at home or away, make sure to do a quick review of your insurance policies, so you understand what coverage you have in place.

– If a guest is injured in your home during dinner, are their medical expenses covered?

– What if your turducken starts a fire; do you have the right amount of coverage to pay the damages?

For questions about your coverage, you should always feel to reach out to your insurance agent. They will be able to review your policy and answer any questions you have.

Take these easy steps to ensure your holiday is as safe as possible.
From all of us at The Nitsche Group, we hope you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!

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