How not to be gobbled up by Thanksgiving Day fiascos
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How not to be gobbled up by Thanksgiving Day fiascos

by American Modern October 20, 2023

So, you’ve offered to host Thanksgiving this year. Hats off to you! Now for the fun part…a long list of holiday to-dos like braving the grocery store, ordering the turkey, planning a menu, decorating, and of course, preparing the meal.

While Thanksgiving dinner is typically your family’s chance to slow down and spend quality time with relatives and close friends, sometimes these feasts can be stuffed with risks for the host. Knowing what your insurance covers will help you navigate any perils that arise with hosting. Plus, a few little reminders and common sense guidelines can help you be extra aware while you are whipping up your menu.

Nobody expects their turkey dinner to go up in flames, but cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day more than any other day of the year. In fact, grease and cooking-related claims more than double on Thanksgiving Day when compared to any other day in the month of November! According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly four times as many home cooking fires occurred on Thanksgiving Day in 2015 as on any other typical day of the year; while the day before Thanksgiving represents the second-leading day for home cooking fires.

This is because we tend to outdo ourselves on Thanksgiving, pulling out all the stops to multi-task a four-course meal, catch up with loved ones and listen to their latest stories, keep an eye on the children, and keep everyone’s wine glasses and bellies full. While it’s typical to overfill your plate on Thanksgiving, figuratively speaking, having your attention spread thin while juggling so much can lead to oversights that can turn your butterball into a ball of smoke.

Trust us, nothing can ruin your celebration more than a kitchen fire. So, try to set the kids up with a time-consuming activity before you dash off to the kitchen. And that chatty relative? You can multi-task by putting him or her in charge of being your sous chef. Give bartending duty to another mature family member. With a little planning and delegating, you be able to focus on measurements and cooking temperatures easily. Plus, thanks to our phones, you always have a way to set multiple alarms for multiple dishes, highly decreasing your chances of burning anything on the stove or in the oven.

Thanksgiving fires can come from many sources; even a cozy fireplace can take a turn for the worse. Deep frying a turkey has also become a growing trend, and a lot of first timers find themselves distracted or underprepared, causing a huge mess and potential disaster. Fryers result in about 1,000 emergency fire calls each year according to NFPA data, causing about $15 million in damage each year.

It’s also easy to forget to check out the surroundings of your cooking area. Make sure you take a moment to scan the kitchen area and any other fireplaces in the house for nearby hazards. If your cooking source is too close to nearby objects, towels, or drapery, one slip of your focus could mean trouble. Carefully reviewing your recipes and making sure you have the proper equipment is helpful. Pairing that with a proper review of your insurance coverage will be the most advantageous decision you can make this year.

Following these safety reminders could help you avoid a lot of common accidents that arise when preparing such an over-the-top feast. Protecting your entire household and all the guests you welcome this year is our top priority. And here’s to wishing you a Thanksgiving carved to perfection!

For information only. Not applicable to all situations.

American Modern

American Modern is a widely recognized specialty insurance leader that delivers products and services for residential property--like manufactured homes and specialty dwellings--and for consumers in the recreational market, including owners of boats, personal watercraft, classic cars, motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles. For more information, visit