Claim Free Thanksgiving – The season to give thanks is here. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, many people are making their preparations for a day spent with friends and family and that means there’s a lot to do. Whether you are traveling or entertaining at home, Thanksgiving can be a wonderful day filled with fun, football and lots of food… and also some stress. From increased driving risks to turkey fryer nightmares, the United States sees a noticeable spike in turkey day accidents. With a little planning and some extra attention, your holiday can be a safe, and claim free one.
In recent years, the traditional Thanksgiving turkey has gotten quite a makeover from the stuffed and baked bird that we all know and love. From overnight brining techniques to the mighty turkey fryer, home cooks everywhere are giving their holiday dinner the star chef treatment. Foodborne illnesses are a very real concern, leading to more than 125,000 hospitalizations each year. While some homeowner policies cover a trip to the ER if one were to get sick in your home, nobody wants to be responsible for sending Aunt Sue to the emergency room so here are some things to keep in mind when prepping your turkey for the big day.
- Thaw your turkey in the fridge or in cool water and make sure to clean all surfaces that come into contact with your turkey thoroughly with soap and water. This goes for fruits and veggies too, as they are easily contaminated.
- Make sure to cook your turkey at a high enough temperature. No slow and low here. Your bird is done when the juices run clear or you can easily pull the leg away from the bone. The color is NOT an indicator of doneness. When in doubt, a thermometer is the way to go. If it reads at least 165 degrees F, you are ready to go!
- Using a turkey fryer? More than one-third of the fires that involve a fryer start in a garage or patio. Always cook outdoors, at a safe distance from buildings, trees, etc… and never put your turkey fryer on a wooden structure. No deck frying!
- Make sure that your turkey is completely thawed before placing it in the fryer and shut off the flame when putting in the turkey. Avoid spillover by checking how your turkey will fit BEFORE you heat the oil. Keep a fire extinguisher that is approved for grease fires nearby in the event that there is a fire and NEVER, ever try to put out a grease fire with water.
- Unattended cooking inside can lead to accidents as well so be sure to stay in the kitchen if you have an open flame or heat source and check back often for anything in the oven. Timers are a great way to ensure that you don’t forget something cooking while you are enjoying the day splitting time between food prep and family fun.
- If you are spending the holiday away from home, there are still some key things to remember before you leave to keep your home safe and secure while you are traveling.
Turn it off! That means everything… Check appliances, hoses, window and door locks and if you can, set some timers for your lights so that it appears someone is home. A dark and quiet home could be an invitation for intruders. Be sure to set your alarms and don’t share your vacation plans on social media…. Wait until you return to add that new photo album or Thanksgiving vacation story.
- Finally, if you have pet guests on the big day, they will surely want a piece of the action but keep in mind that some Thanksgiving foods are dangerous to our furry friends. You can visit the ASPCA website for a list of dangerous foods or better yet, give them their own little feast or a safe chew bone or pet treat.
There’s a lot to be thankful for so however you choose to spend your holiday, a little preparation and attention go a long way. From the Heacock Insurance family to yours, we wish you all the best of the Thanksgiving season.