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Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Homeowners

Nov 19, 2018 9:30:00 AM

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Thanksgiving is a busy day, full of lots of food and lots of people bustling around. Whether you’re home or away, the day can present some safety issues for homeowners. Here are some tips to help keep your home and your family safe.

Tips for Avoiding Thanksgiving Fires

Approximately 2,400 residential fires happen on Thanksgiving Day every year. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, in large part because there's a lot of confusion and activity going on.

Protect yourself, your family, and your home with these tips:

  • Keep children and pets out of the kitchen
    • If you don't have kids, your kitchen probably isn't child proofed. Even if it is, with all the activity it's possible that pets and children can distract you or cause fire hazards on their own.
  • Avoid loose fitting clothing
    • With people packing in and out of the kitchen and dining areas, it becomes very easy for people to accidentally brush against flame or hot surfaces. You may also knock over things like candles.
  • Be careful with candles
    • Open flames are always dangerous, regardless of how innocent they seem. Even something as innocuous as flour can cause dramatic issues when exposed to fire as powder spreads flame.
  • Test your smoke alarms
    • A lot of people tend to disable their smoke alarms occasionally and that can be very unsafe. Before the festivities, make sure everything has been tested.
  • Have a fire extinguisher
    • Did you know extinguishers expire? Make sure you have fire extinguishers available and visible and check to ensure they aren't expired.

This will protect your home against flame, but fire isn't the only danger.

Protecting Your Home From Security Issues

There are a lot of break-ins during the holiday season. If you go out of town, take measures to secure your home:

  • Don't post online
    • One thing that thieves commonly do is look on social media to see who's going to be out of town. Friends of friends could potentially see that you're out, and if they are unsavory or unscrupulous, it could mean that they will target you.
  • Talk to trustworthy neighbors
    • If you have neighbors you know and trust, ask them to report anything suspicious they see to you. You can return the favor to them the next time they are out of town. There are countless examples of people who come home to find someone has moved them out because their neighbors didn't know they weren't moving.
  • Secure doors and windows
    • The doors and windows of your home should be tightly secured, and you should consider the many advantages of a home security system or smart cameras that can alert you in the event that anything suspicious is noticed.

Apart from all of this, you may want to make sure your insurance is up to date, in the event there is vandalism or a break-in.

Food Preparation Safety

Finally, one health issue many people experience during Thanksgiving is due to improper food preparation. To help keep your guests safe, take some basic precautions:

  • Don't cook anything inside the turkey
    • It may not reach the right internal temperatures.
  • Get a meat thermometer
    • A meat thermometer will tell you when food is safely cooked to a high degree of reliability.
  • Avoid mixing utensils and cutting boards
    • Chicken and other meats and vegetables should always be prepared separately.
  • Keep things hot in slow cookers
    • Don't let things sit out at room temperature because this can potentially lead to bacteria growing in the food.

Stay safe and enjoy your holidays with the above tips to make sure your Thanksgiving holiday is about feasting and festive conversations with friends.