Celebrating Thanksgiving 2020 during COVID-19

Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

This year has been a ride – online school for the kids, remote work for the grown-ups, quarantine. All of us have been struggling to find a bit of normalcy in all of the chaos that has been swirling around us. One way you might want to keep things normal is celebrating Thanksgiving 2020 with your family as you normally would. But how can you celebrate in a COVID-safe way? We’ll go over some of the CDC’s low and moderate risk activities … as well as some activities that you probably should avoid, as they’re high-risk. 

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5 common Thanksgiving Day hazards (and how to avoid them)

Avoid these five Thanksgiving Day hazards.

Avoid these five Thanksgiving Day hazards.

Thanksgiving is great. There’s delicious food, time with family and friends, and the bracing Atlanta autumn air. But the only thing is that Thanksgiving is actually more dangerous than it might appear at first glance. What could be so dangerous about a turkey, you might ask? Well, it’s not just the turkey. We’re going to explain a few of the top Thanksgiving Day hazards and give some quick tips for how to avoid them.

5 Thanksgiving Day hazards.

1. Fires.

Yep, this one might not be too much of a surprise, right? With a million things on the go at once and the truly heroic amount of multitasking that goes into a Thanksgiving dinner, fires happen. According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency), Thanksgiving is the leading day for house fires related to cooking – in 2016, fire departments responded to an estimated 1,570 cooking fires.

The NFPA also reports that unattended cooking was the leading cause of these cooking fires.

So, be careful as you’re running around like a chicken – ah, turkey – with its head cut off this Thanksgiving. Check out these tips to prevent a fiery inferno this Thanksgiving – and avoid the resulting home insurance claim.

  • Stay in the kitchen and don’t abandon the food while it’s cooking, whether it’s in the oven or on the stove.
  • Establish a kid-free zone and keep the kids out of the kitchen so no one gets run over, burned, or splashed with hot water or food.
  • Keep the floor clear so no one trips over anything.
  • Keep flammable items – oven mitts, food packaging, wooden spoons, and so on – away from the stovetop.
  • Keep knives, matches, and other pointy or flammable items out of reach of children.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors have working batteries and function properly.
  • Skip the deep-fryer. Sure, a deep-fried turkey might taste delicious, but turkey fryers are super dangerous. You might turn your turkey into an explosion.

2. Cooking accidents.

Large knives, high-speeds, too many “helpers” in the kitchen creating distractions, hot surfaces…it’s an absolutely foolproof plan, right?

On Thanksgiving, everyone wants to pitch in to lend a hand with dinner, right? (Well, hopefully, people want to be helpful.) The only problem is that cooking involves a lot of sharp, pointy objects and hot surfaces. It’s all too easy for inexperienced – or experienced – chefs to accidentally slice a finger instead of a carrot or brush a hand against a hot oven or stove. Make sure that everyone assisting is comfortable wielding their weapon of choice and make sure everyone takes their time. Slow and steady wins the race…and can avoid a situation in which someone loses a finger.

3. Food poisoning.

Turkeys are delicious. But if the turkey isn’t cooked thoroughly, there’s a risk of some not-so-delicious food poisoning. Turkey can be rife with an icky bacteria called salmonella. It’s pretty nasty stuff.

Follow these steps to safely and completely cook your turkey.

  • First of all, read the label. Determine whether it’s a frozen turkey or a refrigerated turkey.
  • Have a refrigerator thermometer to make sure the turkey is stored at 40˚F or just below that and a meat thermometer to make sure the turkey reaches 165˚F when it’s cooked.
  • Thaw the turkey properly.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water before cooking and after handling the turkey.
  • Don’t wash the turkey. You’ll only end up smearing the germs and turkey-nastiness on your kitchen surfaces.
  • Don’t let the raw turkey mix with any of the other food.
  • Have separate utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and so on for the raw turkey. This will help you avoid accidentally contaminating other food.
  • Use warm water and plenty of soap to wash anything that’s touched raw meat or turkey.
  • Remember that 165˚F is the magic temperature. Use your food thermometer to check your turkey’s temperature in the thickest section of the breast, the innermost section of the thigh, and the innermost section of the wing.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

4. Car accidents

Thanksgiving is also a potentially dangerous time to drive, as weather conditions could get a bit scary and alcohol is often a guest at dinner. It’s important to check your car before you head out to visit family and make sure it’s ready for the winter weather. And if you’re planning to drive home after dinner, appoint someone to be the designated driver. Or just plan to stay the night at your family or friend’s place.

Anyways, be careful if you’re hitting the roads to see family or friends. Drive safe and take care.

5. Heart issues.

So, Thanksgiving dinner is kind of the biggest meal of the year. The food is super rich, and we may eat more than perhaps is wise. The volume and richness of the food (and the alcohol) can increase the odds of having a heart attack. One study of nearly 2,000 heart attack survivors that was presented to the American Heart Association showed that the odds of having a heart attack were multiplied by four during the two hours following a big, rich meal.

Those are six potential hazards to watch out for this Thanksgiving. Though of course, it’s important to relax and enjoy the time spent with family and loved ones, it’s also important to take care to stay safe during the holiday season. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, Atlanta!

Looking to save money on your home insurance? We can help. Our agents can help you get quotes for Atlanta home insurance so you can see different coverage options and pricing. Get started with our online quote form or give us a call today.





How to prevent a kitchen fire this Thanksgiving (Or any time of the year) in Atlanta

Prevent a kitchen fire this Thanksgiving.

Prevent a kitchen fire this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means a flurry of shopping, cleaning, food prep, and, of course, cooking. According to the National Fire Protection Administration, Thanksgiving Day had the most cooking fires of any day of the year in 2013. It’s not hard to imagine why. There are a lot of dishes to prepare and a lot of multitasking to do. We’ve got some tips to help you prevent a kitchen fire this Thanksgiving – or any day of the year, really! And avoiding fires means avoiding home insurance claims.

1. Dress for the occasion.

When you’re cooking, it’s best to wear close-fitting clothes that won’t drag or dangle into the heat. If you’ve got long hair, tie it back so that it doesn’t accidentally get singed.

2. Keep your cooking area clear of flammable things.

Move oven mitts, pot holders, towels, papers, plastic wrappers, wooden utensils, and anything else that could catch fire away from your stove. Yes, you might be a bit crowded for space, especially on Thanksgiving, but keep an eye on the area around your stove.

3. Don’t leave cooking food unattended.

Never walk away from something that you’re frying, broiling, or grilling. These things need to be watched closely. If you see smoke or the grease starts to bubble, turn the burner off.

If you’re steaming or boiling something, use timers so that you don’t forget that you’ve got something cooking. Unattended food is the number one cause of kitchen fires, so be sure to check your food frequently. With all the rushing around that comes with Thanksgiving and cooking a huge meal, it’s easy to forget things. It’s completely normal. Just plan ahead for forgetfulness and set timers galore.

4. Clean your cooking surface frequently.

Keep your cooking surfaces clean to prevent grease buildup. It’s hygienic and it will help you avoid starting a kitchen fire.

5. Establish a kid-free zone around the stove.

Your kid-free zone should be three feet around any area that hot food is being prepared or areas that you walk through while carrying hot dishes or pots. It’s generally a good idea to keep kids and pets out of the kitchen while you’re cooking for their safety. Kitchen safety is one of the fundamentals of childproofing your home.

6. Turn pot handles to the back of the stove.

This lowers the chance of a pot getting knocked off the stove and someone getting hurt or burned, or of kids pulling the handle and upending a pot full of hot food or water onto themselves.

7. Don’t put metal in the microwave.

Anything metal should not go in the microwave. Microwaving metal can cause sparks, which means that a fire can soon follow. Yes, this includes tin foil. So, if you have a dish covered with foil that you need to warm up, take the foil off first.

8. Make sure all portable appliances are plugged directly into the wall.

If you plug a portable appliance like a toaster into an extension cord, you could cause the circuit to short. Make sure that all the appliances you’ll need to prepare the meal are plugged into the wall, and unplug them when you’re not using them. This will prevent any accidental mishaps and will also help prevent electrical fires.

9. Consider getting a fire extinguisher.

You might want to consider getting a fire extinguisher for additional fire safety. You can consult with your local fire department to find out which type is best for your home and to get proper training for how to use it.

10. Make sure your smoke detectors are functional.

Do your smoke detectors have fresh batteries? Have you tested them lately? You should have smoke detectors near the kitchen. The sooner you and your family are alerted to a fire, the better.

If you have a kitchen fire…

  • If the fire is in a pan or pot, cover the pan with a lid or baking sheet to smother it. If that doesn’t work, use a fire extinguisher or baking soda.
  • If it’s a grease or oil fire, DO NOT pour water on it. This will only make the fire worse.
  • If the fire is in the microwave, turn the microwave off, unplug it if possible, and wait for the fire to go out. Don’t open the door.
  • If the fire is in an oven, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Wait for the fire to die out.

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and delicious food. Don’t let a kitchen fire spoil your holiday! By following some simple tips to help prevent a kitchen fire, you’ll be able to ensure that everyone has a happy – and safe – Thanksgiving.

Are you looking for home insurance or renters insurance? We would be happy to help you save money on your rates by shopping around for your insurance. All you have to do to get started with some home insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.