Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving Safely
Thanksgiving is a time to joins with friends and family and reflect on all the things we are most thankful for. However, if you are hosting or helping with a large Thanksgiving gathering and/or meal, it can be easy to become distracted, overwhelmed, and make potentially dangerous mistakes.
In years past, Thanksgiving has been a time to gather with friends and family to reflect on all the things we are thankful for. However, in the midst of COVID-19, many of us are having to adapt our usual Thanksgiving traditions with some of us foregoing gatherings all together.
Still, whether you plan to gather with friends or family or not, you still have the option to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with those you are most close too. Here are a few tips to help keep your Thanksgiving safe, no matter how you choose to celebrate it.
10 Thanksgiving Safety Tips for 2020
The following items were provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
- Do not leave cooking surfaces unattended. Burn injuries can happen in an instant, especially when kids around. Always ensure a responsible adult is in the kitchen when there are stove tops or other hot cooking surfaces on. This will prevent everything from overcooking to injury to a potential fire.
- Check your turkey frequently. Never leave your home while your oven is on. While it is true that Thanksgiving turkeys can take a while to cook, you will want someone in the home the entire time your turkey is cooking. Also, be sure to check your turkey frequently for any excessive grease or oil leaks.
- Hot surfaces and children do not mix. Again, you should keep your children and any other kids a safe distance from the oven, stove, and other hot cooking surfaces. Typically, it is recommended that children stay at least three feet from the oven and other hot surfaces.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children. There will undoubtedly be knives present at your Thanksgiving meal. From carving the turkey to cutting vegetables, be sure you know where every knife is at all times and make sure they do not end up in the reach of children.
- Check your electrical tools. Electrical knives can be a great tool to carve meat, but most families only bust them out a couple of times a year. Before using your electrical knife to cut your turkey, check for any signs of wear or exposed wiring. This is also true for coffee makers, plate warmers, and mixers.
- Watch for hot foods and liquids. Scalding injuries are painful and can result in disfiguring injuries. Make sure you are aware of potential splashes and that you have hot liquids and gravies far back from counter edges and out of the reach of children.
- Do not leave children alone with lit candles. Anytime you have a lit candle, you should make sure that it is out of the reach of children. Further, make sure that candles are not near any flammable items, such as drapes or curtains, and that they are on a stable surface that cannot be easily knocked over.
- Keep the floor free of unnecessary obstacles. If you are hosting or attending a Thanksgiving gathering, chances are you will be dealing with quite a few people on potentially limited sections of the house. Make sure the floor is clear of potential tripping hazards, including toys, bags, groceries, spills, and pets.
- Lock away your matches and lighters. Just as you don’t want your kids playing with knives and candles, you should prevent your children from interacting with matches and lighters. Keep them out of reach of children, preferably locked away in a high-up cabinet.
- Check your smoke detectors. Thanksgiving is a great time to conduct your monthly test of your smoke detectors. Also, be sure that you have replaced your battery within the last six months.
Thanksgiving Accident and Injury Statistics
- According to the NFPA, Thanksgiving sees more home cooking fires than any other day of the year followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
- In 2017 alone, U.S. fire departments responded to roughly 1,600 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving.
- Unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
- Cooking equipment was involved in nearly half of all reported home fires and fire injuries.
- Cooking equipment is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
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