With Thanksgiving just hours away, this might be a good time to remind your insurance customers of some important safety tips to make sure their holiday is a safe and happy one.
Of course, with Thanksgiving comes food. Lots of food. And all too often in the midst of the holiday cooking and festivities, tragic accidents happen. According to claims data compiled by State Farm, there are more fires related to deep fryers on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year, with grease and cooking-related claims more than doubling on that day. And deep fryer fires cause $15 million in property damage every year, with a majority of incidents happening on Thanksgiving, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Here are some more sobering facts from the American Red Cross…
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fires on Thanksgiving Day and of home fires and home fire injuries in general.
- Cooking fires nearly double on Thanksgiving Day, occurring more than twice as often as on any other day.
- Thanksgiving Day home fires cause more property damage and claim more lives than home fires on any other day.
It can be a dangerous holiday, and a busy time for insurance brokers too. Here are some Thanksgiving cooking safety tips that can help keep your insurance customers safe during their holiday. Use your insurance software to send homeowners insurance clients a quick reminder email full of thanksgiving safety tips.
Holiday cooking safety tips
- Don’t leave your cooking unattended whether you’re frying, grilling or broiling your food.
- If simmering, baking, boiling or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home while cooking, and use a timer so you don’t forget the stove or oven is on.
- Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of three feet around the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire such as pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains away from your stove top, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- If you use a turkey fryer, make sure it is outdoors and in an open area away from all walls, fences or other structures that could catch on fire, and away from moisture that can cause serious burns from steam or splattering hot oil. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen and use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
- After your guests leave, have someone perform a safety check to make sure all candles and smoking materials are extinguished.
For a safe and happy holiday, it’s hard to go wrong with the “ounce of prevention” method. But if one of your customers suffers a holiday cooking disaster and needs to file a claim, be sure you’re there with a quick and helpful response. You just might be the holiday cheer they need.