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11/26/2013 - How to keep Thanksgiving Day safe


Thanksgiving Day is a time to spend with family, not to put out the flames.

Turkey with all the trimmings is more of a modern-day form of Thanksgiving. During the first gathering in the early 1600s, historians say that it likely included venison, goose, duck, lobster and shellfish. But what both the original gathering and today's meal of gratitude share in common is that virtually everything served typically utilizes a heating source - one that can cause injury when used improperly. To help families enjoy their Thanksgiving without incident, the National Fire Protection Association provided some basic safety tips with a downloadable document.

When a lot of people are over for dinner, it's natural to want to mingle with relatives who may be in the living room, perhaps watching the annual football game. With the bird in the oven and side dishes on the stove, though, it's important to stay in the kitchen so that a close eye can be kept on everything and potential flare ups don't take place, the NFPA advised.

Thanksgiving Day is often a favorite of young kids who get to play with cousins that they haven't seen for awhile. Any activities that are arranged for them should be left out of the kitchen, ideally in the family room or anywhere that's a safe distance from where food is being prepared, the NFPA recommended.

It's also a good idea to ensure that the home's fire alarm works. Smoke detectors serve as families' first line of defense for home fires, so it's important that the batteries be checked and the alert signal will sound off.

Homeowners insurance claims have been known to happen on the last Thursday in November. According to statistics compiled by the NFPA, it's the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment, most frequently stemming from turkey fryers. For this reason, experts recommend that families leave this type of cooking to the professionals.


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