With Thanksgiving a few weeks away, the holiday can bring up a cornucopia of troubles, from cooking injuries and accidents to the car and home safety. We’ve outlined a handful of insurance tips you can follow to make sure this is one of your most memorable (and safe) Thanksgiving.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), Thanksgiving Day is the highest day of involved home cooking fires. If you decide to deep fry a turkey, be aware that turkey fryers can lead to several burns and even property damage if you aren’t careful. The hot oil from the fryer can splash, spill or combust. Don’t ever leave your deep fryer unattended and keep children away while cooking.
When cooking indoors, it is a day full of friends and family arriving, children playing, football game playing, and it’s easy to become distracted while cooking. It’s tempting to try and multi-task while in the kitchen, but you should be continually checking on the food and remain in the kitchen while the oven and other cooking appliances are on.
Use a kitchen timer so food doesn’t burn and potentially set off smoke alarms, or worse, start a fire. Always make sure there is a fire extinguisher nearby and confirm that smoke alarms have been tested recently.
Keep your kitchen counters and prep space clean and organized. Don’t leave and oven mitts, hand towels, paper towels near the heat and flames.
Avoiding Car Accidents
It doesn’t matter if you’ve only had a ‘few’ drinks, but don’t drink and drive! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drunk driving still causes 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S.
If you plan on drinking on Thanksgiving (or any day), either arrange for a friend, partner, or family member to be your designated driver or call an Uber.
Review Your Car Insurance Policy Before Hitting the Road
Thanksgiving and Christmas are always the busiest travel periods of the year. This means that the likelihood of getting in a car accident increases exponentially. While a comprehensive car insurance policy can’t prevent an accident, it can help cover the costs of your vehicle for damages or injuries. If you rented a car, look over what your policy will and will not cover, and consider purchasing rental car insurance.
While you can’t attest to other driver’s behavior, here are a few tips you can follow to yourself:
- Give yourself extra time. Being rushed or stressed is a recipe for disaster when trying to make up for a time in the snow, rain, or ice. Drive slow and plan for extra drive time.
- Secure food and other items. The last thing you want is food or gifts spilling and sliding around while you’re driving. Ensure everything is in sealed containers or inside a cooler, and secure items in the back seat and trunk area.
- Protect your pets. If you’re traveling home with your furry friend, use a harness and safety belt to strap them in safely.
- Pack an emergency and first aid kit. This is a good year-round item, but especially in inclement weather. Also, include any contacts for AAA or other roadside services in your glove box and phone for quick access in case of emergency.
Protect Your Home
The holiday season can unfortunately be a time when we see an uptick in home robberies. Thieves have been known to pick up on when a home is empty for a few days and take advantage of this. Here are a few measures to take to keep your home safe:
- Keep your travel plans off social media. Consider waiting until you are back in town to post-holiday photos, so the wrong person doesn’t become aware of your absence. Also, refrain from using location tags on your photos to identify your whereabouts.
- Use light timers and motion detectors on lights (both indoor and outdoor).
- Place all valuables, such as jewelry and family heirlooms, in a safe.
- Ask a neighbor or trusted friend to keep an eye on your home and bring in the mail so it doesn’t pile up and tip off burglars.
- Invest in an outdoor security camera so you can monitor your home while away.
Homeowners insurance such as dwelling coverage and personal property coverage may help recover costs in the instance of a break-in. Review your coverage and be sure to document your home inventory beforehand to help expedite the process in case a claim occurs.
Protect your Home
Follow these few tips on protecting your home while traveling for the holidays. You should also make sure you have the right and up-to-date homeowners insurance to protect your property and valuables inside. Contact a Hertvik Insurance agent we’ll compare quotes for you to make sure you’re getting the best price for the coverage you need.