Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy food and time spent with family. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to take precautions to protect your health and your family. It’s also important to take steps to prevent fires and cooking burns.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas Eve. Cooking caused almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries in 2014-2018.

To help you protect yourself and your family this holiday season, we are sharing Thanksgiving safety tips.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips: Fire Safety

Cooking is the top cause of home fires in the United States, and a national American Red Cross survey found that nearly 70% of people have left the kitchen while cooking.

Here are some cooking and fire safety tips from the American Red Cross and the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.
  • Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • Turn pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one bumps them or pulls them over.
  • Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on. Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks, or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Burns are a common injury among children. The CDC reports that every day over 300 children between the ages of 0 and 19 are treated in emergency rooms for burn-related injuries.

You can protect children during Thanksgiving by following these tips:

  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips: COVID-19

The American Red Cross offers these safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission during Thanksgiving.

Avoid attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside our households. Instead, have a small dinner with family and perhaps a virtual dinner with friends and family who live outside the home.

If you still want to share your dishes with others, prepare family recipes for nearby loved ones and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and deliver them without direct contact with others.

If you want to shop, avoid crowded stores and instead do your shopping online.

Getting vaccinated is a great way to protect yourself, your family, and everyone else. Everyone 12 and older is eligible to get a free COVID-19 vaccination. Booster shots are available for people who completed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series at least 6 months ago and are:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18+ who work in high-risk settings
  • Age 18+ who live in high-risk settings.

Data shows that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. They reduce the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and limit the spread of the virus that causes it.

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