The Thanksgiving holiday means lots of time spent in the kitchen for some, and long hours on the road for others. No matter how you plan to spend your day, we know you want to keep your family safe and sound, and the Red Cross can help.

Cooks can use our basic safety tips to help prevent kitchen fires, and travelers can follow our simple steps to stay safe on the road. Share these tips with your loved ones, and help us make this Thanksgiving holiday a safe and enjoyable experience for all!

Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while preparing your holiday meal. Never leave the stove unattended – if you need to leave the kitchen even for a short time, turn it off. Also:

  • Check food regularly.
  • Use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains – away from the stove, oven or any other appliance that generates heat.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home. Make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

If your Thanksgiving plans include driving, check the weather along your route and plan for travel around any predicted storms. Don’t drive impaired – be well-rested and alert, and give your full attention to the road (no cell phones). Also:

  • Make sure everyone wears a seatbelt.
  • Follow the rules of the road – observe the speed limit.
  • Use caution in work zones.
  • Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely.
  • Clean your headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.
  • Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or if you are using your windshield wipers due to inclement weather.

To get quick, expert advice on what to do in an emergency in the palm of your hand, download the Red Cross First Aid App at

Have a very happy (and safe!) Thanksgiving, from all your friends at the American Red Cross!