If you are lucky enough to be able to be with friends and family for Thanksgiving this year amidst the pandemic, be sure to not let the joy of seeing your loved one’s override safety! Drinks, a huge turkey, the kids running around… hopefully all the necessary elements for a good time will be reunited! 2020 was not the best year but let’s still be grateful for what we have now!
- Celebrate responsibly
The obvious one. If you are going to celebrate, please do it responsibly, especially if you need to get behind the wheel. 1/3 of all fatalities during the Thanksgiving Holiday period in 2018 involved drunk drivers according to NHTSA (1). Thanksgiving is about reuniting with the people who count the most and it would be a shame to waste that because of an extra drink.
- Keep an eye on the children
Family time, yay! It is great to see your little ones enjoying the occasion but make sure you take the proper safety measures, especially if you have several potential troublemakers at home ?. It is probably best to keep them away from the kitchen, while the Thanksgiving meal is cooking and where many sharp objects reside.
- Make sure nothing is burning in the kitchen
Potato puree, the turkey, veggies and finally the traditional potato or pumpkin cake: there is no shortage of dish that will need to be put in the oven or to cook over the stove. While hosting, it can be easy to get distracted especially if you have a few people to entertain (and if you have a drink or two). Make sure you keep an eye on what’s cooking and set timers/alarms to prevent lunch from going to waste or to burn the house! In 2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,630 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires (2). Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
- Test the smoke alarms
Before the event, to ensure you are fully covered in case of emergency, make sure you fire detector alarms are working properly. Almost three out of five home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties with no (40%) or no working (17%) smoke alarms according to nfpa.org (3). To prevent such tragedy, set up regular checks on your installations. According the US Fire administration, smoke detectors should be tested once a month and batteries should be replaced once or twice a year (4).
- If traveling, set up defense systems to prevent break ins
If traveling to join family or friends during the long weekend, set up defense systems to protect your house from breaks in. A good strategy is to make the place look like it is occupied, even if it is not. Time-up lights to go on at certain times, keep a car in the driveway and have a trusted neighbor collect the mail, so your mailbox does not look overflowed. Also, a good alarm system is always a nice option to scare off any potential intruder.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy the well deserved Holiday!