Thanksgiving is a favorite time of year for get-togethers with loved ones. People enjoy time off work and make travel plans to visit with family or friends, while festive feasts are being prepared. As the official kickoff to the holiday season, it’s only natural to want to make it a major event and to worry that everything will go as planned. Unfortunately, there are several situations at this time of year that could put you and those you care about at risk. Car accidents and kitchen fires are both common and have the potential to result in serious personal injuries. Being aware of the dangers can help you be better prepared.
Thanksgiving Fire Safety
With the emphasis on turkey and all the trimmings over the Thanksgiving holiday, it is important to take some precautions in the kitchen. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is one of the peak times of year for cooking fires. Fire departments respond to nearly 2,000 calls on Thanksgiving Day alone, with unattended cooking being the leading cause of fire injuries and deaths. To prevent these types of accidents, follow these safety tips:
Never leave a hot stove or oven unattended, even for a few minutes
Make sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby
Be particularly careful when handling pans filled with oil or drippings
Avoid wearing flowing outfits or long sleeves in the kitchen
Keep curtains and dish towels well away from the stove, where they can easily catch fire
Keep all pot handles pointed inward
Avoid having children running around in the kitchen while you are cooking
Turkey fryers are a particular danger. Use them outside only and carefully follow all manufacturer instructions. If you are lighting candles or using a fireplace, be aware that it increases fire risks and make sure embers are completely out before leaving your home or heading to bed.
Preventing Thanksgiving Car Accidents
In addition to fires, car accidents are another leading cause of injuries over the Thanksgiving weekend. With an increased number of people on the roads and the likelihood that many have been drinking, it is important to take your time and to use caution in reaching your destination. If you plan on drinking, take a cab or Uber home.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) urges travelers to take a few simple tips to protect themselves before heading out on the road:
Do a maintenance check of your vehicle before you go
Check weather conditions at your destination
Carefully map out the course you will take
Let others know your itinerary and estimated arrival time
Make sure all passengers in your vehicle wear a seat belt at all times
When you are driving, be sure to avoid speeding, tailgating, improper lane changes, and other reckless driving behaviors.
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