The holiday season is underway, and people across the globe will be enjoying great food, gift-giving, and, most importantly, quality time with loved ones.
Sadly, Thanksgiving is one of the worst times for house fires. An average of 2,300 residential fires were reported each year on Thanksgiving between 2017 and 2019.
Find out more about making this holiday season as safe as it is fun with essential fire, food and vacation tips.
5 Essential Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips
Thanksgiving Day has the single highest number of house fires caused by cooking out of the entire year, closely followed by Christmas.
Before prepping the turkey, take some extra precautions to ensure your party doesn’t end up a statistic. Here’s 5 essential fire safety tips that we recommend you to follow to ensure a safe holiday this year.
- Exercise caution when using Turkey fryers and similar appliances at home. Turkey fryers are very susceptible to fire hazards, and they pose serious burn risks to users, so most people should avoid them.
- Do not wear loose-fitting clothing while cooking. Long and open clothing can ignite from a naked fire source, such as a gas flame or hot burner.
- Keep children away from all appliances in the kitchen while cooking. Experts recommend that kids should be at least 3 feet away from hot appliances.
- Be sure that the electric cords from cooking appliances are not dangling off the countertops or within reach of children.
- Make sure that smoke alarms are working in advance of Thanksgiving day. Use the holidays as an excuse to make a habit of regularly checking them.
5 Holiday Safety Tips to Consider When Leaving the House
Not only do homes have far more easily accessible valuables than usual during the holiday season, but many homes will be unoccupied for extended periods as families head elsewhere to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Remove collapsible objects like ladders from outside the home. Home invaders can use these objects to gain access.
- Avoid posting Thanksgiving or Christmas travel plans on social media.
- Have a trusted neighbor pick up mail while out of the house, or arrange for deliveries to be made.
- Avoid leaving a key hidden outside of the home. Under the mat is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and burglars know the best hiding places. Instead, find out how to properly hide a key in and outside homes.
- Set up a 24-hour home monitoring and security system before traveling.
Had someone try to break in my apartment. Was able to scare them away using the microphone feature.
I have a roommate and the Alfred app help me to make sure my things are safe when I’m away.
5 Food Safety Tips for the Holidays
During the holidays, burglars and fires might be the strongest contenders for public enemy one, but there’s another foe that likes to make an appearance—food poisoning.
- Buy meat and other food items carefully. For amateur cooks, perhaps avoid fresh stuffed turkeys or other birds. If fresh is the way, buy it no more than a day before cooking.
- Chop vegetables on a separate board from raw meat. Cross-contaminating vegetables with bacteria from uncooked bird meat is a one-way ticket to salmonella poisoning!
- Make sure you defrost the meat properly. Thaw inside the refrigerator, and keep in mind that every 5 lbs. of turkey will require a day or two to thaw completely.
- Wrap the meat in leak-proof packaging material and submerge it in cold water. You must change the water every half an hour.
- Cook the meat immediately after thawing and avoid slow or partial cooking. You may want to cook the stuffing separately. For turkey, cook at a minimum of 165 degrees fahrenheit.
What are holiday safety tips?
Holiday safety tips include removing collapsible objects like ladders from outside the home, avoiding posting locations on social media, and increased vigilance when preparing food.
How many fires burn down on Thanksgiving?
An average of 2,300 residential fires are reported each year in the US on Thanksgiving day, making it the single most dangerous day for cooking-related house fires.
Is Thanksgiving the peak day for home cooking fires?
Are turkey fryers safe?
Turkey fryers bought from a reputable store have been approved for use by the general public. With the right know-how and caution, they should be safe to use.
Keep children far away from them, and make sure that the person using it is experienced and responsible.
Why do turkey fryers explode?
Turkey fryers require a large amount of oil that the bird has to be submerged in at very high temperatures. If the bird is frozen or partially frozen, it can ‘explode’ because the water particles cause the oil to expand rapidly. It can then spill over onto the open flame. Hygiene issues aside, this is another reason why it is crucial to defrost meat fully before cooking.
Black smoke emerging from the oil is a sign that it’s reaching its smoking point (releasing evaporated particles into the air). Particles evaporated from oil are extremely flammable.
Good food, good people, good times. Thanksgiving is a time to kick back with the ones you love. But by not taking simple precautions—whether that’s properly defrosting your food or setting up surveillance to monitor an absent home—unwanted surprises can occur.
That’s why proper planning is an essential safety precaution for the holiday period. Whether traveling for the occasion or having the in-laws over, make simple preparations to protect everyone and keep the festivities smooth sailing.