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The holiday season is upon us and that means hosting guests, traveling to see friends and family, and cooking! While this time of year can be fun for everyone, there are a number of risks associated with these festivities. These Thanksgiving safety tips will help you kick off your holiday season on the right foot and ensure only good memories are made.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Avoid a Cooking Catastrophe

As the host, most of the meal prep falls on you. This is a day for home cooks to shine, so go for it! But, because cooking causes around 69 percent of Thanksgiving day fires, these Thanksgiving safety tips will help you avoid a cooking crisis.

1. Most cooking fires are the result of unattended cooking. While there are always distractions when hosting (guests arriving, appetizers to serve), don’t walk away from a stove or appliance in use.

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

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

4. The stove can be a main source of carbon monoxide, especially when used for several hours at a time. Turn on  kitchen fans or vents, open windows periodically, and make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are in working order.

5. 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 douse a stove fire with water, it can cause a flare-up.

6. In case of a fire in your oven, turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and call 911.

7. If you are deep-frying your turkey, bear in mind that this cooking method poses a number of safety hazards. Never use the fryer indoors, keep it a safe distance from buildings and flammable objects, be sure your turkey is completely thawed and dry, keep children and pets away, and be mindful of splashing or spattering oil.

Traveling Troubles

The American Automobile Association estimates 43.4 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over Thanksgiving weekend. Of them, 90 percent will travel by car. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’ll be hitting the road this holiday.

1. Near the holidays, slow traffic is bound to happen. Give yourself plenty of time and you will be less stressed.

2. Make sure items in your car are secure. If you’re transporting food, use containers with tight-fitting lids to keep you from lunging to prevent spills or protect containers.

3. Food poisoning can be a risk when food sits for more than a few hours between 40°F and 140°F. If preparing a hot dish to bring, cook it completely the day before and refrigerate it overnight. Then, transport it in a cooler and reheat it when you arrive.

4. Don’t announce your travel plans over social media. One study found that 4-5 ex-burglars used social media like Twitter and Facebook to identify unoccupied properties.

5. Make it look like someone’s home. Put lights on a timer and consider having a trusted friend or neighbor pick up your mail and move your car occasionally if you will be gone a few days.

6. Don’t forget to check all windows and exterior doors are locked. One-third of home burglaries happen through unforced entry where thieves get in through an open door or window.

These Thanksgiving safety tips will help to guarantee your holiday runs smoothly. Whether you will be hosting or traveling to visit loved ones, keep these tips in mind. After all, the holiday season is a time to enjoy the company of those you love, not to spend filing claims! For more ways to protect yourself this season, just call us at 724-929-2300. We will tailor an insurance policy to fit YOU!