Thanksgiving Risk Management

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I thoroughly enjoy the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  I prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of the shopping crowds, and spend the weekend on three activities instead:  Family, feasting, and football.  Just before this holiday weekend began, I noticed a few articles on the dangers of turkey fryers, and it caused me to consider a few of the personal risks associated with this holiday.

Perhaps the most acute personal loss exposure is that of property damage from grease fires, mostly from the growing popularity of turkey fryers.  Business Insurance reported annual damages averaging $15 million from grease fires this time of year.  That’s quite a few charred birds and charred garages.  I must admit, fried turkeys are quite tasty, but they are definitely risky.  I am happy to report that my family’s fried turkey was delicious and cooked without incident this year.  We purchased an electric fryer last year, which seems to be significantly safer than the open flame propane fryers, but hot oil is always dangerous.  Even if you avoid burning your garage down, splashing and splattering 375-degree oil will cause serious burns.

If you survive the turkey fryer, there are additional risks associated with food poisoning.  Food safety practices are sometimes overlooked in the rush to get the feast on the dining room table.  No one wants to spend their holiday weekend in the bathroom or the hospital due to undercooked birds or leftovers not properly refrigerated.

And then there’s Black Friday shopping chaos…  Auto accidents increase as people rush to the shopping malls or drive long distances to grandma’s house.   In a sad commentary on the state of civility this holiday weekend, there are incidents of brawls and stampedes erupting over shopping deals that may not even be great deals to begin with.

It’s a wonder we survive the holiday…  Be careful out there by practicing good personal risk management.  When it comes to Black Friday, I’m all about risk avoidance:  I stay home and watch football from my sofa.

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