Ways to Stay Safer this Thanksgiving

October 1, 2015

As Thanksgiving approaches each fall, Americans across the United States start preparing for one of the biggest feasts of the year. Thanksgiving has been a time where friends and family come together to enjoy good food and the company of one another for many decades. However, it is important to protect this special time by remembering to put safety first. By spending a few minutes reviewing these tips, people can experience a safe and happy holiday.

1. Know how to avoid food poisoning. When cooking a turkey, be sure to defrost it properly. If the bird is still frozen in the middle, some parts of the turkey may be uncooked after removing it from the oven. Always keep a defrosting turkey in the refrigerator on a pan to prevent its juices from dripping into crisper drawers or onto other food containers. Keep in mind that a turkey weighing 15 pounds takes several days to defrost. Cook a turkey until its internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If there are leftovers, be sure to refrigerate them within a couple hours of serving dinner.

2. Keep fire safety in mind. The most common holiday for fires is Thanksgiving. Experts say that there are at least three times as many fires on Thanksgiving as there are on any other normal day. Do not leave any pans on the stove unattended. When using oven mitts, food wrappers and other flammable items, keep them far away from stove tops or candles. It is best to keep children out of the kitchen to avoid burns or injuries. When using pots and pans with handles, point the handles toward the back of the stove to avoid tipping one over. Do not wear loose sleeves or baggy clothing that may drag across a stove.

3. Always travel safely. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for highways, streets, trains, buses and airlines. Since most people are focusing on arriving at a destination and having fun, they often overlook the most important safety measures. It is helpful to have an emergency room kit while driving. To avoid traffic and accidents, travel on less busy days that are not as close to the holiday itself. Always start a driving trip with a full tank of gas, and be sure a vehicle is roadworthy before setting out on a long trip. Never drive distracted. Pull over to make a call, answer a text message, eat or do anything else distracting. Keep in mind that distracted driving endangers other families on the road. Never drink and drive. Follow TSA's guidelines for liquids and gels, and be sure to follow the airline's requirements for baggage weight and packaging certain items such as food.

There are plenty of other ways individuals and families can stay safer on Thanksgiving. Think about travel plans or party hosting plans in advance to adequately prepare for optimal safety. To learn more about safety and being prepared with insurance, discuss concerns with an agent.

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