The holidays are often filled with food, friends and family. In order to keep gatherings joyful, here are three tips to lower your chance of a holiday incident and possibly avoid an insurance claim!
1. Be mindful while cooking.
Don’t let guests distract you while you’re cooking. Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and the day before Thanksgiving are the peak days of the year for home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
- If a fire starts on your stovetop, turn off the burner and quickly cover the pan or pot with a lid to smother
- Don’t throw water or flour on stovetop flames — it could cause a fire flare-up or spread the fire. Use baking soda instead.
- If a fire starts in your oven, turn off the oven and keep the door closed. Opening the oven door could feed the fire (oxygen rush) and cause it to spread.
- If you're unable to fight a fire, choose safety and flee your home. For all but the most minor flare-ups, it’s a good idea to call 911 and have everyone wait outside for firefighters to arrive. Possessions can be replaced —lives can't.
2. Follow sound food safety principles.
Food poisoning is not the lasting memory you want to leave your family and friends with.
- Use a reliable probe thermometer when cooking meat.
- Watch out for leftovers — get them into the fridge promptly to halt the growth of potentially dangerous bacteria.
3. Don't forget about the pets.
The joyful chaos of a bustling holiday home can be scary and stressful for pets. Even normally docile dogs can bite when they are anxious or frightened, and you can be held legally liable if a guest is injured in your home. Serious dog bites may require medical care and can even lead to lawsuits. You could wind up filing a homeowners claim for these costs.
- Keep an eye on foods that may be in reach of curious mouths. Common "people foods" can be harmful to pets.
- If you believe your pet has eaten something it shouldn’t have, you can call Animal Poison Control toll-free at 888-426-4435.
Celebrations are a large part of the holiday season. No matter how you choose to make the season merry, stay safe and enjoy your time with friends and family!