Thanksgiving is a time for visiting family and sharing meals with loved ones — but it’s also a prime time for cooking fires, traffic accidents and other safety problems. The American Red Cross asks everyone to follow the steps below to stay safe this week and help keep your holiday enjoyable, festive and safe.
Home cooking fires are more likely on Thanksgiving Day than on any other day of the year. See more in this post from our friends at Tri City Rentals:
You can help protect yourself and your family from home fires—the nation’s most frequent disaster—by testing your smoke alarms and practicing your escape plan with free resources from the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. This Thanksgiving, follow these tips to stay safe in and around the kitchen:
- Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year if your smoke alarm requires it.
- Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
- While cooking, don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle.
- If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended—stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires.
- If you’re simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly.
- Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
Millions of travelers hit the road on Thanksgiving, traveling to visit family and friends for long-awaited reunions and turkey dinner. It’s one of the busiest travel times of the year, which means more traffic and all the more reason to drive safely.
According to Automobile Club of America (AAA) more than 54 million Americans plan to travel this Thanksgiving — the most since 2005. Don’t let an accident ruin your Thanksgiving holiday. Be prepared and follow these tips to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones, as well as other motorists around you:
- Make sure your car is in good condition for a road trip.
- Pack an emergency preparedness kit, supplies and a first aid kit in the trunk.
- Share travel plans with a family member or friend.
- Check the weather before departing and along your route. Plan for travel around any storms that may be coming.
- Be well rested and alert.
- Buckle up, slow down and don’t drive impaired.
- Follow the rules of the road and use caution in work zones.
- Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
- Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.
- If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.
If public transportation is part of your travel plans, remember it’s flu season. From luggage to seats, everything that you touch is likely touched by someone else. Check out our most recent post for lots more tips to help avoid the spread of germs.
However you plan to celebrate, we hope you do it safely, surrounded by special people and lots to be thankful for. Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving, from your friends at the American Red Cross!