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8 Tips for Celebrating the Holidays Safely

Posted on November 12, 2014

Don’t ruin the turkey | Satya Murthy via Flickr

Don’t ruin the turkey | Satya Murthy via Flickr

Thanksgiving is around the corner, ringing in the start of America’s holiday season. It’s a time to celebrate with your family and friends…and a time to be smart. Whether you’re celebrating with candles, Christmas trees, or cooking a huge meal, an ounce of prevention can make sure your holidays don’t go from merry to scary.

Eliminate distractions in the kitchen | Daniel X. O’Neil via Flickr

Eliminate distractions in the kitchen | Daniel X. O’Neil via Flickr

COOKING

— Always keep an eye on the stove. Don’t leave the kitchen unattended, even when cooking something like a turkey which can take a couple of hours to cook.

— Keep kids and pets out of the kitchen while you’re cooking. You don’t want toys or dogs underfoot when you’re handling large pans full of piping hot food. And unless your kids know the rules, you don’t want them near the stove or sharp knives.

— Don’t deep-fry a turkey unless you really know what you’re doing. If you decide to give it a try, do the research first. Do it outdoors, and well away from your house, a fence, or anything flammable. Don’t be one of these guys. (As an alternative, may we suggest brining the turkey?)

Keep your decorations beautiful | Stephen Woods via Flickr

Keep your decorations beautiful | Stephen Woods via Flickr

DECORATIONS

— Use candles sparingly (if your apartment even allows them), and never leave them burning in a room that no one is in. Never put candles in a window near curtains.

— Keep flammable things away from the fireplace. If you’re lighting a fire. (We’re looking at you, Christmas stockings.) And don’t burn wrapping paper: it can burn too hot, throw sparks, or even release toxic gases.

— A dry Christmas tree is a fire hazard. Keep it watered, throw it away once it gets brittle, and make sure the cords for the lights aren’t damaged or overloading an electrical socket.

— Make sure your smoke alarm is working and that you have a fire extinguisher handy. You might not need either, but if you do, they can save lives and prevent property damage.

A safe holiday is a happy holiday | Didriks via Flickr

A safe holiday is a happy holiday | Didriks via Flickr

ENTERTAINING

— If you plan to host a holiday party, check your policy for “social host liability,” a kind of coverage that protects a party host from liability when a guest who drinks at your party causes injury to others. Typical homeowners’ policies provide such coverage, but you should think about hiring a bartender who can regulate the flow of alcohol and keep an eye out for guests who need a ride home.

Gotham Brokerage has been through a lot of holiday seasons in the city, and we know the special hazards holidays can bring. Knowing you’re covered for any possibility is one of the keys to being able to sleep in heavenly peace during the season. If you’re unsure about your coverage, contact Gotham Brokerage, and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free quote.

 

A version of this post originally appeared on Brownstoner, Bowery Boogie, and the skint.

Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc. is a family run insurance brokerage serving New Yorkers for over 50 years. We specialize in the insurance needs for those living in the city and provide a full range of insurance products designed specifically for the city.