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Consumer Tips: Fireproof Your Holiday Feasts

Food is a big part of holiday fun, but festivities can take your attention away from cooking and lead to fires. Cooking caused half of residential building fires in 2015, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

More cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association reports that three times as many home fires occur on that holiday compared with the average day, with Christmas Day and Christmas Eve not far behind.

Before you bake, broil, grill, sear or fry, remember these tips for fireproof feasts:

  • Avoid an overcooked meal (or worse!) by having someone on cooking duty at all times. If you have to leave, turn off cooking equipment first.
  • Limit distractions by planning television time, video chats, chores and other activities outside of meal preparation time.
  • Everyone loves hanging out in the kitchen – which can lead to bumps, spills and other injuries, especially when kids are involved. To minimize accidents and divert traffic, put snacks, games and toys in another room.
  • Grills should only be used outdoors.
  • If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, step away from cooking and designate a “driver” to take the lead.
  • Keep dish towels, oven mitts, paper products and other flammable materials away from heat.
  • Smother grease fires with a metal lid or baking soda – never use water. Make sure to turn off the heat first.
  • If a fire starts in the oven, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
  • Have a fully functional fire extinguisher handy for emergencies.
  • Call 911 for help if a fire occurs.

Play it safe this season and make sure your home is protected. For more information about home or renters insurance, call your AAA insurance agent or insurance customer service, or visit your local branch.