It is important to understand your Homeowner Insurance coverage!
The holiday season is a time of reflection and celebration. It is a time for friends and family to spend time together, to eat drink and be merry! It is also a busy time for insurance companies because of increased claims that occur,
Turkey deep fryers are a huge culprit. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that about 1,000 emergency calls come in each year, related to deep fryer fires. This causes an estimated $15 million in damage each year. About a third of the deep fryer fires occur in a garage or patio. A couple of tips to avoid deep fryer disaster:
Get as far away from your home and trees when cooking outdoors and keep off any wooden structures, like a patio deck
Never leave a hot turkey fryer unattended
Don’t cook when you have been drinking or sleep deprived
Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and dry before lowering it slowly into the pot.
Avoid spillover by first putting cold oil into the pot, lowering the thawed turkey into the cold oil and then determine how much oil needs to be added or removed.
Prevent a flare-up, by shutting of the fuel source, when adding the turkey to the hot oil, as the oil could catch fire, if it spills over.
Don’t use ice or water to cool down the oil or to put out an oil fire
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby that is approved for grease or cooking fires.
There is generally an increase in kitchen fires during the holidays as well. Many of the same tips above relate. The biggest reason for kitchen fires are because people get distracted and leaving cooking food unattended. Oven mitts, towels, wooden utensils, food packaging etc. should be kept away from your stove top. Don’t cook if you are sleepy or you have been drinking. If you do have a fire, get out!!! Close the door behind you to try to contain the fire and call 911. If you try to put out the fire, get everyone else out. Keep oven door closed and turn off the heat. for Pan fire, keep a lid nearby when your are cooking, so that you may put the lid on the pan to smother the fire.
Check your Liability Coverage!
Most homeowner insurance covers up to $100,000 in liability. Some policies offer$300,000 or the option to buy additional coverage. This is important, because besides fires, there is also an increase in liability claims. Although many of us love to entertain our family and friends, as hosts, we may also be liable if someone drives drunk or becomes sick after consuming food or alcohol at our party. Insurance will usually cover the cost of an emergency room visit, but if medical expenses incurred go beyond that, the guest could sue. That is why it is important to take some precautions:
Keep a clean kitchen and sanitary food preparation.
Make sure that your food is thoroughly cooked, by taking its temperature. (Turkeys should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.)
Don’t take chances by putting out any food, that you think may be under-cooked, spoiled or contaminated.
Limit your guests alcohol consumption. Offer non alcoholic beverages. Provide food to counter the effects of the alcohol. Cut off guests that are clearly drunk or on their way there. Stop serving alcoholic beverages about an hour before party is scheduled to end. Make sure you know ahead of time, if there is a designated driver. Call a cab for anyone that has had too much to drink.