Top 10 Safety Tips for Thanksgiving

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.

Whether you are in charge of the turkey, watching the kids, or just a guest, keep these ten quick safety tips at the top of your mind.

Top 10 Thanksgiving Safety Tips

The following items were provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

  1. Do not leave cooking surfaces unattended. There should always be a responsible adult in the kitchen when there are stove tops or other hot cooking surfaces on. This will not only help prevent food from overcooking, it could potentially save your from injury and thousands of dollars in property damage should a fire start.
  2. Check your turkey frequently. You should never leave your home while your oven is own – this is true for cooking Thanksgiving turkeys as well. Be sure to check the turkey frequently for any excessive leakage of grease or oils.
  3. Hot surfaces and children do not mix. 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.
  4. Keep knives out of the reach of children. From carving the turkey to slicing veggies, chances are there will be a lot of sharp utensils around the kitchen. Be sure you know where every sharp utensil is at all times and that they remain out of reach of children at all times.
  5. Check your electrical tools. If you’re like most families, chances are you haven’t busted out your electrical knife since last Thanksgiving. You should also check to make sure that the cord for you electrical knife, coffee maker, plate warmer, or mixer are not dangling of the counter or within reach of small children.
  6. Watch for hot foods and liquids. Steam and hot liquids can cause serious burns. Make sure you are aware of potential splashes, hot plates and blows, and liquids like gravy or coffee and that all the items are kept away from children.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 Safety 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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