This holiday season, make sure that all you have to worry about is making enough pies for that Thanksgiving party and not a costly household hazard.
Although it’s easy to forget about the risks in such a light-hearted time, there are genuine hazards and preventable damages that peak significantly during the holidays. According to Allstate’s Holiday Home Hazards awareness campaign, home fire claims spike 15 percent, the median cost for turkey fryer-related claims is almost $29,000 and – most shocking of all – the most costly holiday fire involved an artificial Christmas tree. The total loss cost a staggering $2.4 million.
In fact, home fires pose a very clear risk during the holidays. The National Fire Protection Association recently released their “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment” report which listed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve as the top three days for cooking fires.
“The number of cooking fires is three times the average on Thanksgiving and more than one and a half times the averages on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of outreach and advocacy. “As people go to great lengths to prepare holiday meals, following a few basic safety tips when cooking will reduce their chances of having a fire.”
Fortunately, Allstate started a blog with a number of helpful hints for holiday safety. They offer tips on how to prevent anything from theft or clogged plumbing to cooking fires.
Some useful tips include:
■ Before the holidays, install new batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure that family members can locate and operate fire extinguishers. Test all fire prevention devices to make sure they function properly.
■ Be careful in the kitchen. The incorrect disposal of cooking grease, overuse of garbage disposals and improper or excessive disposal of waste can result in clogged drains and can cause sewer problems during this time of year.
■ Never leave burning candles unattended, and always place them out of reach of children. Make it a part of your routine to check that all candles are extinguished before you go to bed each night.
“Most home fires happen when cooking is left unattended,” added Carli. “Be sure to stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you are simmering, baking roasting or broiling food, remain in the home.”
For more information, safety tips and statistics, visit the NFPA at http://www.nfpa.org/cooking or read Allstate’s tips about holiday safety at http://blog.allstate.com/home-fires-holiday-hazards/.