As Thanksgiving approaches, you may be focused on all the ingredients needed to prepare the perfect turkey dinner with all the trimmings for your family. The home inspection experts from Boggs Inspection Services want to remind you that there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your home is ready for Turkey day. So, whether you are preparing a small feast for just your immediate family, or something a little grander, keep these tips in mind to get your house ready for Thanksgiving Day. 

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When preparing your holiday feast, avoid putting fats and oils down the drain. Over time, the fats and oils will build up, leading to slow draining and will eventually clog your pipes. Photo courtesy: Boggs Inspection Services

Don’t Treat Your Garbage Disposal Like a Garbage Can

A good garbage disposal can make kitchen clean-up a breeze, saving you time and effort by quickly chopping up food waste and sending it down the drain. However, there are a few things that could damage your disposal or clog your pipes, and are better off going straight to the trash.

It might be convenient to peel potatoes and send the peels down to the garbage disposal to take care of, but potato peels and other starchy foods can turn into a gluey mass that quickly clogs up the disposal and plumbing. Send the peels to the compost and prolong the life of your disposal.

The sharp blades of the disposal can make quick work of many different types of scraps, but you should also avoid disposing of bones, seafood shells, or fruit pits. These hard items can dull and damage the blade, reducing the life span of the disposal and increasing the risk for clogs.

Don’t Dump Grease Down Your Drain

What do you do with leftover cooking grease from your holiday feast? What about the oil you used to deep fry a turkey? If your first instinct is to pour it down the drain, hold it right there. Grease, fats, and oils are hydrophobic, which means they repel water. When they are flushed down the drain, they coat the inside of your pipes depositing a thick layer that hardens into sludge over time. As the sludge grows thicker and thicker, you will notice slow drains which will eventually result in a completely clogged drain.

“Some people think that if you pour the grease down with hot water or dish soap, that it’s okay,” says Dwayne Boggs, “but it’s not. Used grease and oil belongs in the trash or recycled in a special facility.” Thurston County residents can dispose of their used cooking oil at the Thurston County HazoHouse. Pierce County residents should check with the City of Tacoma’s Hazardous Waste Center. Outside of these counties, you can find a location to recycle your used cooking oil at the Earth911 recycling database.

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Plugging more than two items into an outlet can overload the circuit, leading to power failure and increasing the risk of an electrical fire. Photo courtesy: Boggs Inspection Services

Don’t Overload Your Outlets

Whether Thanksgiving means watching football, preparing a huge feast, or both, odds are you will be using a lot of power. Before you pull out those extra countertop appliances to help with your Thanksgiving meal, be prepared to avoid circuit overload. “Dimming lights when you switch on an appliance or tripped breakers are signs or outlet overload,” says Dwayne. Spread out the usage of the appliances throughout the day or across several rooms. If you’re using a crockpot, consider plugging it in the dining room. And if Thanksgiving is the day that you turn on your holiday lights, make sure to calculate amp rating to avoid overloading the circuit.

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Prevent circuit overload by ensuring your stay below 80% capacity for each outlet. Stripped breakers are a sure sign that you might have too much plugged in to one circuit. Photo courtesy: Boggs Inspection Services

Be Careful With Candles

Candles can make our homes feel warm and inviting and add pleasing aromas throughout our home. But candles can also be fire hazards. “Be aware of the placement of your candles and keep them away from fabrics or draperies and high traffic zones where they could be knocked over,” Dwayne says. Also, do not leave candles burning unattended.

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Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires in the United States. Never leave stovetop cooking unattended and test your smoke detectors monthly. Photo courtesy: Boggs Inspection Services

Check Smoke Alarms

With your focus on friends, family, and feast for Thanksgiving, the last thing you want to worry about is a fire. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. Add together cooking, busy preparations, and a dash of distraction from guests, and you’ve got all the ingredients needed for a cooking fire. Give yourself some added peace of mind by testing your smoke detectors a few days before Thanksgiving, just to be safe. “Better yet, develop a habit to test your smoke detectors monthly and replace their batteries at least once a year,” adds Dwayne.

Check and Replace Air Filters

The HVAC filters in your home remove dust, allergens, and indoor air pollutants from the air you breathe. The primary purpose of the filters is to protect your HVAC system and keep it working at peak capacity. Clogged or dirty filters reduce the efficiency of the system and make it work harder, placing undue stress on the system’s components and reducing its lifespan. Keeping your filters clean is good for both you and your HVAC system and will keep your home cozy for all of your holiday celebrations.

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude. Dwayne Boggs is thankful for another year working with his amazing employees. And the whole team at Boggs Inspection Services appreciates you, their customers. If you need a home inspector, reach out to Boggs Inspection Services today.

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