Be the Best — and the Safest — Cook This Holiday Season

Nov. 10, 2010 - It’s especially easy to get pulled away from the stove around the holidays, when family and friends gather to celebrate. So if you’re cooking this year, check out these tips recommended by the Home Safety Council and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to prevent fires and burns.

Cook up Safely

  • Always stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop.
  • Use a timer to remind you that you have food simmering, baking, roasting or boiling.
  • Keep things that burn ― dishtowels, paper or plastic bags, oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, paper towels and curtains ― at least 3 feet away from the stovetop.
  • Keep your cooking area clean. Do not let grease build up on the range top, toaster oven or in the oven.
  • Check your outlets. Kitchen electrical outlets should have ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). This can prevent dangerous shock and some electrical fires by interrupting the flow of the electric current, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If you don’t have them, contact an electrician to install them in your home.

Check Your Coverage

As a basic precaution, purchase a home, tenant or condominium insurance policy. These usually come in two coverage varieties.

  • Named perils policies specifically list the perils for which they provide coverage. A peril is a specific risk or cause of loss covered by the policy, such as a fire, windstorm or theft.
  • Open perils policies provide coverage for all perils except those specifically listed as being excluded.

There are also two main settlement varieties.

  • Replacement cost settlements pay today's cost to rebuild or replace a structure with materials of like kind and quality.
  • Actual cash value settlements will deduct for depreciation due to age and condition of the property.

For more information about coverage and protecting your home from a devastating fire, contact an Erie Insurance Agent.

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