Thanksgiving is a time for families to safely gather and reflect on what they are thankful for. It is a beginning to the holiday season and should be a cheerful occasion for all. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for cooking related fires. Many other preventable injuries occur over the Thanksgiving holiday .
Make sure your Thanksgiving is a safe celebration by following these safety tips:
1. Slow down and wear your seatbelt while driving.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), during the Thanksgiving holiday period roughly 515 people die in automobile related incidents across the US. Leave extra time to to get where you are going, and be alert while driving. Wearing a seatbelt can decrease changes of a vehicle accident related fatality by 45%.
2. Don't drive impaired.
If you pick up a drink, put down the keys. Alcohol consumption is a major contributor to vehicle related accidents. Some medications and recreational drugs can also impair driving.
3. Don't let your fryer cause a fire.
Turkey fryers are a popular means of cooking a Thanksgiving turkey. If used incorrectly, they can cause burns or even start fires that could threaten your home. If using a turkey fryer, make sure you set up your burner outdoors, away from structures and off of any decks. Make sure your pot is large enough to hold the oil and the turkey without overflowing. Only COMPLETELY thawed and DRY turkeys should be cooked in oil fryers.
4. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
Fire extinguishers should be readily available wherever cooking is taking place. A multipurpose Class A-B-C rated fire extinguisher will work on most fires. If you cook in fryers using oil, having a Class K rated fire extinguisher is a better choice for extinguishing oil fires. If there is a fire in a pot or pan on the stove, turn off the heat source and slide a pot lid or sheet pan over the top to smother the fire.
5. Keep a kid-free zone.
Keep kids at least three feet away from cooking areas such as stoves, ovens or counter-top appliances. Turn pan handles to the back of the stove to prevent a little had from grabbing them. Children suffer serious burns if hot liquids are pulled down on top of them. make sure electrical cords for counter appliances are out of reach of children.
6. Keep the area clean.
Combustible items such as dish towels, bags, boxes and food spray cans can catch on fire if they are too close to a heat source or open flame.
7. Watch what you heat.
It's easy to get distracted with conversations or activities around you. Whenever any food is being heated, someone should be in attendance. It is a good idea to set multiple timers, even on your smartphone, to remind you when food will be done. Some digital or wireless thermometers can also serve as good reminders to not let food overcook.
8. Have working smoke alarms.
Working smoke alarms save lives. Check smoke alarm batteries before guests arrive. You can see more smoke alarm information here.