HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS FOR THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

By Amy Howell Hirt
Holiday Safety Tips for Thanksgiving Weekend
It's important during the holiday rush, when our minds are heavy with to-do's, to take a moment and consider the consequences of the safety hazards that the holiday season can bring. Whether you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner or hitting the road to Grandma's house, take a moment to remember these precautions and safety tips for the holidays:

Fire Safety

  • Nearly twice as many cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than on any other day. When you're cooking, never leave the kitchen unattended. Keep close by and check back frequently—it's also a good idea to take the extra precaution of setting a timer as a reminder, just in case you get busy with other things.
  • Enforce a "kid-free zone" of 3-feet around cooking areas. Even a splash or steam from vegetables or gravy can cause serious burns, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
  • Take a minute to clear a cooking area of flammable items. Anything from wearing loose clothing to nonchalantly tossing an oven mitt can become a major hazard when you're cooking near open flames.
  • Hosting for the holidays? When the last guest leaves, you probably want to leave the dishes in the sink and head to the couch, but always do a final check for any potential fire hazards left before you relax—like extinguishing candles and ensuring the oven is turned off.
Road Safety

  • If you're among the one-third of us who will likely hit the road for the holidays, plan for potential problems. Before leaving, check for a full tank of gas, proper tire pressure and plenty of windshield wiper fluid. It's also smart to travel with an emergency kit with essential supplies in case of a break-down.
  • Check the forecast for any hazardous weather that you may encounter, and consider the condition of the roads you will travel. Be realistic about your car's ability—and your confidence—in maneuvering through adverse weather.
  • Avoiding distractions can be especially hard during the holiday season. Focus on the road and avoid texting, taking cell-phone calls, and playing with GPS devices while driving.
Pet Safety

  • For pet-parents hosting during the holidays, the cardinal rule is: resist sharing the feast. High-fat table scraps can cause pancreatitis, raw turkey and eggs can cause food poisoning. And some foods—including onion, garlic and chives—could even be toxic for a pet. Don't forget to make it clear to guests—especially children—that Fido and Fluffy are not to be fed.
  • It's common to bring a festive plant as a hostess gift or use them as seasonal decorations, but many plants may also be toxic or harmful if ingested. Keep these out of reach for pets and small-children alike.
Many mishaps related to travel, cooking, and pets can be easily avoided by taking a little extra precaution and remembering these holiday safety tips—stay safe and enjoy the holiday season.


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