At the end of November, we all gather, cook turkeys, enjoy the beginning of the holiday season, and (hopefully) practice some Thanksgiving safety tips.
While our Canadian neighbors may have already celebrated Thanksgiving, the holiday is just around the corner for many Americans and their families. And while this holiday kicks off all the fun of the next few months, it’s important that we keep our wits about us and stay safe while celebrating.
Veoci is all about preparedness, even during the fun and joy of the winter holidays. So, as an extension of our preparedness, take some of these Thanksgiving safety tips back to your kitchen as you get ready to celebrate (and don’t be afraid to use them after Thanksgiving, too).
- Protect your home while you’re away. Many people travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, but there are a few ways to ensure your home will be left undisturbed in your absence. Avoid posting on social media that you’ll be out of town, make sure all doors and windows are locked, put your mail on hold, and don’t leave keys under the mat where they are readily accessible.
- Be an alert driver. According to The National Safety Council, Thanksgiving 2017 experienced the second highest vehicle related fatality rate of any holiday that year. Make sure you’re taking extra precautions because of the added volume of drivers on the road. It may be prudent to do your traveling late at night or early in the morning when the roads are less congested.
- Test your smoke alarms. The National Fire Protection Association identifies Thanksgiving as the day with the most home cooking fires and the US Fire Administration reports that there are over 4,000 fires that occur each Thanksgiving. Make sure your smoke detectors are in working order before you start cooking.
- Prep your turkey appropriately to prevent salmonella. Your turkey should be thawed in a bath of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the refrigerator; do not leave it out on the counter. Make sure your turkey is fully cooked by inserting the thermometer on the innermost part of the thigh and wing, as well as the thickest portion of the breast, and checking for a temperature of 165°F. Promptly refrigerate leftovers no more than two hours after putting out the food.
- Stay vigilant while cooking. If you have food on the stove, make sure you’re in the kitchen closely monitoring it. Someone should always be home while the turkey is in the oven, and it needs to be checked frequently. Avoid loose clothing around open flames and take extra care when wielding sharp knives.
- Use deep fryers appropriately. Make sure you set up outdoor fryers safely away from decks, garages, trees, and other flammable structures. Your turkey must be fully thawed before dropping it into the hot oil because ice or water can spark flames. Avoid overfilling your fryer because excess oil can cause a fire if it hits the burner. Choose a small turkey (about 8-10 pounds). Make sure someone is always monitoring the fryer and looking out for smoke, which is a sign your fryer is overheating.
- Watch what your pets are eating. Make sure your guests aren’t feeding your pets! Turkey bones are hollow and are a serious danger to your pets if ingested. Avoid feeding your animal fatty, toxic, or other dangerous foods such as chocolate, corn on the cob, rising bread dough, onions, raisins, grapes, and alcohol.
- Monitor children closely. There are many hazards that children can get into on Thanksgiving day. Closely watch children in the kitchen to ensure they’re staying away from the oven and other hot surfaces. Make sure your knives are safely out of reach.
- Wear appropriate equipment when playing football. Backyard football games are a popular pastime for many families on Thanksgiving, but it is important to recognize the dangers of the sport. If you’re playing tackle football, make sure your head is appropriately protected to avoid concussions or other serious head or body injuries.
- For your sanity: Avoid supermarkets on Thanksgiving Day! In the spirit of preparedness, make sure you and your family have all the food and ingredients you need to cook dinner when the last Thursday of November rolls around. Nothing will spoil your holiday like waiting 30 minutes in a grocery store check-out line to buy a can of cranberry sauce!
Be prepared with some Thanksgiving safety tips!
With these tips in you back pocket, you can be sure you and your family are safe while celebrating the holidays. Preparedness is a critical element of staying safe. Keep the season as cheerful as possible by celebrating safely and responsibly.
Have a happy holiday season from all of us here at Veoci!