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Fireproof your holiday feasts: AAA Insurance offers tips for stress-free Thanksgiving


Wed, Nov 22nd 2023 06:20 pm

By AAA of Western and Central New York

Food is a big part of holiday fun, but festivities can take your attention away from cooking and lead to fires. Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries. With guests gathering for Thanksgiving, the chance of a mishap increases. In fact, more cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year!

According to the National Fire Protection Association:

√ Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires with more than three times the daily average for such incidents. Christmas Day and Christmas Eve ranked second and third, with both having nearly twice the daily average. 

√ Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.

√ Cooking causes half (53%) of all reported home fires and more than two of every five (38%) home fire injuries, and it is the second-leading cause of home fire deaths (18%).

√ On Thanksgiving Day alone, an estimated 1,160 home cooking fires were reported to U.S fire departments in 2021, reflecting a 297% increase over the daily average.

Before you bake, broil, grill, sear or deep fry that turkey, AAA Insurance offers these tips for fireproof feasts:

√ Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop, so you can keep an eye on the food.

√ Plan television time, video chats, chores and other activities outside of meal preparation time to limit distractions.

√ Everyone loves hanging out in the kitchen – which can lead to bumps, spills and other injuries, especially when kids are involved. To minimize accidents and divert traffic, put snacks, games and toys in another room. Keep children away from the stove.

√ Grills should only be used outdoors. The U.S. Fire Administration says grill fires cause $37 million in property loss each year.

√ If you are deep frying a turkey, make sure the fryer is outdoors, away from the home, and on a sturdy, level surface. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before frying.

√ If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, step away from cooking and designate a “driver” to take the lead.

√ Keep dishtowels, oven mitts, paper products and other flammable materials away from heat.

√ Smother grease fires with a metal lid or baking soda. Never use water, and make sure to turn off the heat first. If a fire starts in the oven, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.

√ Make sure smoke alarms are working. Have a fully functional fire extinguisher handy for emergencies. Call 911 for help if a fire occurs.

Play it safe this season and make sure your home is protected. For more information about home or renters insurance, call your AAA insurance agent, stop by your local branch, or visit AAA.com/Insurance.

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