Insurance for Thanksgiving Fails & Kitchen Fires

Last Updated May 25, 2024

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Thanksgiving day is the most common day in America for Kitchen fires, and on top of preparing a feast, hosting the event, cleaning the house, and entertaining guests – a raging kitchen fire is the last thing anyone wants to think about. 

But they’re more common than you might think, with thanksgiving day hosting the most thanksgiving fails by far. 

Thanksgiving day is the single highest day for home kitchen fires, and it’s not even close.

Here’s what you can do to prepare for any potential Thanksgiving fails and why having a kitchen fire extinguisher handy might not be a bad idea.

how to prevent thanksgiving fails and what insurance you can get to help

Thanksgiving Kitchen Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving day is the day that hosts the highest amount of kitchen fires.

It’s also not even close, with the 2nd highest day for kitchen fires being Christmas.

Thanksgiving contains, on average, 300% more home-cooking fires than any other day of the year, minus certain peak days like Christmas Day. 

It’s reported that firefighters respond to over 1,600 kitchen fires on any given thanksgiving day.

It’s also reported that on any given day, there are 470 reported kitchen fires. 

# Of Fires
% Over Average
Day Before Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve

Your Insurance Options For A Kitchen Fire


Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners Insurance will cover any accidental damage caused by a kitchen fire. We say this because Insurance companies have placed restrictions in place to prevent insurance fraud. A homeowners insurance policy generally covers things like interior and exterior damage, loss of property or personal injury that occurs within the property itself. 


Mortgage Protection Insurance

Mortgage protection insurance is a term life insurance policy meant to cover any injury/death that occurs within the mortgage during the term period specified. Mortgage protection insurance comes in 3 types, with those being Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), Qualified Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP), and Mortgage Title Insurance.


Traditional Life Insurance

In the event of death, or potentially life-changing accident, life insurance and certain life insurance riders come in handy. Some specific examples include a whole life insurance policy, as well as an AD&D rider. 

Deep Fried Thanksgiving Fails

Deep-fried turkeys may be a rather tasty alternative to a traditional baked turkey, lending itself a juicer texture and a crispy outer layer of skin.

All of that extra tastiness comes with appropriate risk, but deep fryers are responsible for the largest percentage of kitchen fire-related deaths at 5.4%. They are also the driving force behind the second-highest claim average, coming in at just shy of $28,000 per claim. It’s important to not only prepare for the deep fried turkey beforehand, but also ensure that you’re taking the proper precautions during the cooking process.

A general rule of thumb is that less is more – never overfill your deep fryer with oil as this is bound to create thanksgiving fails.

Deep Fried Turkey Tips

Completely thaw your turkey and ensure it is not frozen in any way before placing it in the deep fryer.

Oil is denser than water, which, on top of the fact that oil and water violently oppose each other, means that the oil will sink to the bottom of the deep fryer, further boosting any flames that may have or will occur.

Designate a safe space for the deep frying process.

It’s not wise to deep fry your turkey around the stove or another like minded kitchen fire hazard, as this will only serve to worsen the flames or spread them around. 

Don’t overfill your fryer with oil!

Too much oil is the most common cause for overflowing deep fryers, which will almost inevitably lead to a kitchen fire with how flammable heated oil is. 

Don’t use water to put out the flames.

A kitchen fire extinguisher or other method is much more effective, such as smothering the flame. If a kitchen fire occurs, immediately cut the heat and use an effective method that suits you. Water only serves to make oil fires worse, and you are better off doing nothing vs using water. 

5 Best Ways To Avoid Thanksgiving Fails


Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher handy. 

Especially if deep frying your turkey. Water makes grease/oil fires worse and may even cause an explosion in rare cases. It’s important to be prepared for any potential kitchen fire hazards or Thanksgiving fails.


Keep children/excess people out of the kitchen.

The kitchen is already being maximized for space as a result of all of the thanksgiving fixings being made, it’s no surprise that adding kids to that equation is a recipe for disaster. Make sure children know to stay away from any active kitchen fire hazards as well as any food currently cooking. 


Organize your space.

We know that the kitchen is the focal point of any Thanksgiving family gathering, and depending on the structure of your kitchen, can be very hard to keep track of during the chaos of the holiday season. This is why it’s extra important to make sure your kitchen is organized and certain cooking utensils/appliances are given adequate space for their process. It’s also important to minimize potential risks, with the action packed pace associated with the holiday – why risk it? Remove unnecessary utensils like knife sets, keurigs, and any other appliance/utensil that could fall or be tipped over.


Check your cooking equipment beforehand. 

Over half of all reported home kitchen fires and kitchen fire related injuries were caused by faulty cooking equipment. It’s also the second leading cause behind home kitchen fire death, behind the actual kitchen fire itself. Double check that all smoke alarms are properly calibrated and change their batteries if necessary. Also be sure to double check that your stove and any supplemental devices are working properly before placing them under the stress of a thanksgiving holiday.


Don’t leave items unattended while cooking. 

It can be easy to lose track of time, especially with the family one room over. Remember to set timers in advance, and to keep a general timeline in mind for how long your dish should roughly take to cook. Kitchen fires can start quickly, and with the size of most thanksgiving portion sizes that’s bound to be one heck of a kitchen fire.

Does Life Insurance Cover The Cost Of Damages?

In some cases, yes. 

Although Life insurance will cover death in 99.9% of cases, there’s also Mortgage Life Insurance.

Mortgage Life Insurance is a term life insurance policy, although it differs from traditional term life insurance specifically in how the policy pays out its death benefit. Mortgage Life Insurance is designed to cover funeral expenses in the event of accidental death within the home/property. 

The way in which Mortgage Life Insurance differs from a traditional life insurance policy is how they are paid out. Mortgage Life Insurance only pays its death benefit if accidental death occurs within the mortgage during the term length of the policy. In most cases the term length of the policy coincides with that of the mortgage length. The death benefit is also usually reduced each progressive year the mortgage is paid on, corresponding with the mortgage itself. 

There are two forms of Mortgage Life Insurance, with those being decreasing mortgage insurance and level mortgage insurance. The difference involves the fact that the decreasing mortgage insurance follows your mortgage through the payment cycle, shrinking in death benefit as your mortgage does. The other simply does not change. The maximum you apply for is contingent until death occurs or the mortgage is no longer valid. 

This type of policy also applies to any accidental injuries/death that guests undergo.

Foresters Insurance Funeral Insurance

In some cases, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Riders may be added to your policy.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment exists as a Rider or Add-on to your policy, and is not a stand-alone policy most of the time. 

Accidental Death and Dismemberment Riders are designed to protect those involved with unintentional death or dismemberment of the insured person(s). This includes any and all circumstances that involve unintentional injury, dismemberment, or death and are not related to illness and/or old age. It’s important to note that this may also include loss of hearing, eyesight, limbs, or the ability to speak. As a result, kitchen fire death/damage to a person is included within this rider’s description and would be covered under its jurisdiction. On top of homeowners insurance, AD&D may be a good idea if your intention is to prevent any and all disparity caused by kitchen fire damage. 

Thanksgiving Fails, DUIs, and Life Insurance

Life Insurance companies specialize in providing relief for families experiencing unexpected circumstances. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to acquire payouts if the death was associated with illegal activity and/or was self-inflicted. You can likely expect to not see any payout associated with a self-inflicted drinking and driving death – which is how the insurance company would classify it. Insurance companies would reiterate that knowingly entering a vehicle intoxicated was a considerable risk that said person decided to take.

What You Can Do To Prepare

It’s important to note that kitchen fire extinguishers are exceptional at putting out both grease and a regular kitchen fire, so having one in or around your home is never a bad idea. 

Double-checking fire alarms as well as that all cooking equipment is working as intended is also a good idea. Keeping in mind fire exits, as well as an applicable plan to utilize in the event of a kitchen fire should also be in your mind.

Aside from taking the necessary precautions in your home,

You can also take the proper precautions for your wallet.

We at Final Expense Benefits partner with over 20 carriers, with:

Being some of the ones that stand out among the crowd.

Reduce the stress involved with life insurance and let us do all of the heavy lifting for you.

You can reach us at 1 (866) 311-4338, and we’re open from 9-5, Monday through Friday.

Final Thoughts

You might have thought to yourself at some point, “fires are rare, I don’t have to worry about them” and we hope you now know that thanksgiving is different. Featuring the highest number of house fires out of any given day of the year, it can even happen to you.

By adequately preparing beforehand, the risk of a kitchen fire goes down tremendously. 

You lose nothing by preparing for the unexpected, yet you gain peace of mind. 

We encourage you to fully prepare for any thanksgiving fails not just with the food but with kitchen fire safety as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Extinguish Kitchen Fire?

It heavily depends on the type of kitchen fire, with the method for putting it out changing drastically for each. For a normal fire, smothering or the use of water/extinguishers is a good idea. For a fire consisting of oil, a kitchen fire extinguisher is mandatory as water will only make it worse.

What Not To Do During A Kitchen Fire?

It’s important to not use water in the event of a grease fire, and to cut the heat source immediately. You also do not want to move the pan if possible. 

Can Kitchen Foil Catch Fire?

It’s incredibly hard to make aluminum foil catch on fire, but it can burn however. 

How To Safely Put Out a Kitchen Fire?

The best option is going to be a kitchen fire extinguisher, but one may smother a fire with the pan lid as well. There’s also a few household baking ingredients that extinguish fires, such as baking soda. 

Will Closing An Over Stop A Fire?

As fire needs oxygen to culminate, opening the oven would only serve to make these worse. Preventing the fire from expanding by denying it oxygen is a great option if a kitchen fire extinguisher is not present.


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