The day is almost here, and whether you are hosting or traveling this year, we want you to enjoy the holiday by staying safe with these Thanksgiving safety tips, courtesy of American Red Cross.
Fire Safety Tips
There are over 4,000 house fires on Thanksgiving day in America, but with some proper planning, you can avoid being a victim.
- Test your smoke detectors. You could check the ones around your kitchen, but you might as well check them all while you're at it already!
- Don't cook with long sleeves or loose clothing that could catch fire when reaching around.
- Avoid leaving the kitchen while cooking. If you have to, especially when leaving something cooking for an extended period of time, use a timer that you can keep nearby.
- When finished cooking, double check the stove, oven, and any appliances to make sure they were properly turned off and you have not left any food out.
- Don't leave pot and pan handles sticking over the counter, where people could bump into them.
- Keep any flammable objects away from the stove.
- Clean up any oil or grease on the counters—in case of a fire, they could cause it to spread faster.
- Keep any children away from fire or hot objects. If you want them to help, ask them to wash the vegetables or prepare the table.
- For more safety, buy a fire extinguisher and keep it somewhere in the kitchen.
Food Safety Tips
- If you are thawing a turkey in the microwave, cook it immediately after thawing. If you are thawing in the fridge, thaw for 24 hours for every 5 pounds. If you are thawing under cold water, then give it 30 minutes for every 1 pound.
- Cook your stuffing separately, rather than inside the turkey.
First Aid Tips
- If someone is choking, encourage them to cough. If they cannot seem to clear the airway on their own (they cannot speak or cough effectively), ask one person to call 911 while another performs the Heimlich Maneuver. To perform, stand behind the person (perferably with them standing), and place your arms around their stomach. With your dominant hand, make a fist, placing the thumb against the stomach, right above their belly button. Grab your wrist with the other hand. With a firm grip, pull your arms inward and upward, and continue the motion in quick succession until the object is dislodged or the victim loses consciousness. If they lose consciousness, check to see if you can remove any obstructions from their airway, and then perform CPR.
- If someone gets burned, use a cloth soaked with cold water to cool the burned skin. Cover it with a loose bandage or cloth and monitor the wound. If swelling or oozing occurs, or the burn was chemical or electrical, seek medical attention.
- It's always helpful to have a first aid kit handy in your home, but extra useful during the holiday season, when you may be entertaining more guests than normal. Consider packing a light kit full of various bandaids, burn treatments, bandages, hot and cold packs, alcohol wipes, and over-the-counter pain killers, like ibuprofen or aspirin.
Lastly, if you are planning to drive this holiday season, be wary that the amount of traffic accidents caused by drunk drivers increases during the holidays. If you are impaired, do not drive, and instead ask a friend or family member or consider a taxi or Uber. Even if you are not impaired, drive carefully and use defensive driving techniques to avoid accidents that could be caused by others.
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