Safety Tips For Thanksgiving Travels and Cooking

September 16, 2019

As Thanksgiving approaches, millions of Americans will be traveling to spend the holiday with friends or family members and cooking up feasts.

Unfortunately, when we leave town for Thanksgiving, we also leave behind an empty home, which can attract burglars. And Thanksgiving is also one of the top times of year for kitchen fires, which often start because the stove is left unattended.

But there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of your home being burglarized and your kitchen catching fire.

Burglary prevention

By following a few simple steps, you can ensure your home will be left safe enough that burglars will not feel enticed to enter. The following are some crucial steps to take:

  • Make sure any ladders or similar objects that may allow access to a home or make it easy to climb over a gate are removed from sight and stored safely.
  • Avoid posting any status updates or public announcements on blogs, social media or home business sites about Thanksgiving travel plans.
  • Before leaving the house, make sure the ringers on all land phones are turned down enough that people outdoors cannot hear if there are repeated rings.
  • Don't change your answering machine greeting to one that says "We'll be gone for Thanksgiving," or something to that effect.
  • Do not leave keys hidden outdoors or in fake concealment rocks, because burglars know how to spot all of the most common hiding places quickly.
  • Have all newspapers, mail and other regular deliveries held or picked up by a trusted neighbor or friend.
  • To give the appearance that someone is home, ask a friend or relative to move any cars left behind on the street or in the driveway regularly.
  • Be sure all tree limbs that may reach second-story windows are trimmed away enough they will not allow easy entry into the home.
  • Purchase timers for lights in several different rooms, and set them to come on and go off at random times.
  • To enhance the appearance that someone is always home, set a DVR box to record shows at random times so the television will come on frequently.
  • If possible, install a home security system. Be sure it offers fire monitoring service and burglar detection around the clock.
  • Install a security system that lets you monitor the home using a smartphone app. Many of these systems have special features like being able to unlock the front door remotely for a friend coming to feed a pet or providing live video surveillance.

Cooking fires

Thanksgiving is the most common day of the year for kitchen fires, according to the The National Fire Protection Association. The following safety tips will help you a avoid a kitchen disaster:

  • When using fryers for cooking turkeys, be very cautious because of the risk of fires and burns.
  • Be sure the kitchen always has a working fire extinguisher in case there is an emergency, and every family member should know how to operate it safely and correctly.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothing while cooking. Roll up sleeves, keep long hair back and avoid bending over a stove with a long shirt.

The takeaway

By following these tips, you can avoid a costly hospital visit, home fire and insurance claim this Thanksgiving.

Make a safety checklist in advance, and be sure family members and friends know how to stay safe as well. To learn more about this topic or for answers to insurance questions related to holiday travel and safety, call us.

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