Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with friends and family, eat delicious food, watch football or the parade, and travel. While Thanksgiving is filled with all these wonderful moments, it can also bring the possibility of burns, cuts, scrapes and falls. Planning ahead and knowing the common risks of Thanksgiving activities can help ensure that your holidays stay fun and joyous — without the pain of a trip to urgent care.
Did you know that house fires increase more than three times the daily national average on Thanksgiving, with cooking incidents responsible for almost half of the fires reported? In 2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,400 cooking fires on Thanksgiving, with unattended cooking listed as the leading contributing factor by far in cooking fires and fire deaths.
Top safety tips
- If you’re in on the cooking, stay in the kitchen and remain attentive to items on the stove. Set timers for items in the oven, and ensure all stovetop burners are turned off and cleared of debris when not in use.
- Keep young children away from kitchen dangers like hot stoves, knives and open flames.
- Keep a fire extinguisher near the kitchen. Baking soda can also be an effective way to extinguish small kitchen fires (and never use flour as a substitute!).
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, purses or bags.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly.
- Don’t drink and drive. Thanksgiving has an increased risk of alcohol-related fatalities. In 2019, 29% of Thanksgiving fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
- Know basic first aid and CPR. With all the food Thanksgiving often brings, there’s an increased risk of choking (and of complications of heart disease). Knowing how render basic first aid and CPR for these emergencies can save lives.
While much of our thoughts on safety center around the workplace, it is important to remember personal safety during the holidays, as well. A little attention and some preparation can go a long way toward ensuring a safe and happy holiday.
Source: National Safety Council, National Fire Protection Association