We have so many reasons to give thanks! As you plan your meals, keep in mind these tips from our reinsurance company, Grinnell Mutual, for a safer and happier Thanksgiving.
- Limit how many cooks can be in the kitchen. “Preparing a large meal, you can have congestion in the kitchen at Thanksgiving. All the burners are going, the oven is going, and hot foods and liquids are coming off the stove,” said David Miller, assistant vice president of Special Investigations at Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. “If you’re not paying attention, you could get burned.”
- Stand by your pan. “Be cautious. Do not have the burners on high and leave them unattended,” said Miller. (Read more about kitchen fires.)
- Keep hot liquids away from the counter and table edges. Water or other liquids heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit can cause a third degree burn in as little as five seconds, according to a report from the American Burn Association. (Read more about how you can prevent scalds in your home.)
- Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. “If there is a fire in your home, you want to get people outside as quickly as possible,” said Miller. “If you believe you can safely fight the fire with a fire extinguisher then do that. Otherwise, just get out and call the fire department.” (Read tips on how to use a fire extinguisher.)
- Clean up clutter in the kitchen. “You have the burners running on the stove and paper towels, potholders, and food packaging near the stove. Next thing you know, you have a fire that gets sucked up into the exhaust fan and you’ve got problems,” said Miller. (See how quickly a kitchen fire develops.)
- Heat your home safely. If you use space heaters or wood-burning stoves to help heat your home, read this article about precautions you can take to prevent home heating fires.
- Clean up clutter around the home. Make sure well-traveled walking paths in your home are free of throw rugs, extension cords, and other clutter. (Read more about preventing falls at home.)
- Clean sidewalks, steps, and driveways. “If it looks like communities will have a white Thanksgiving,” said Miller. “Use sand, salt, or ice melt to reduce slip and fall hazards.”
- Light the path. The meal may begin during the day, but end after dusk. Turn on the porch light when people are leaving.
- Escort older guests to their vehicles. “Many falls happen when people get in or out of a vehicle,” said Miller. “If you have older people leaving, escort them to their vehicles so they do not fall.”
If you have any questions about safety in your home during the holidays, give Forward Mutual a call at 920-261-6616. Our friendly staff is here to help!