The 4-Safety Program

Thanksgiving Safety

Thanksgiving is a special time of year for families to come together and celebrate everything they’re thankful for.

Thanksgiving Safety image
Whether you’re celebrating the holiday at your home or someone else, take extra care that you have the information you need to prevent Thanksgiving injuries for your friends and family.

Did you know that the day with the most fires caused from cooking is Thanksgiving? Before starting Thanksgiving dinner make sure that all cooking equipment, such as the stove, is clean and in good working order. On the day of the big meal, have safety equipment ready to go: potholders and aprons, pan lids, a fire extinguisher, and working smoke detectors.

Thanksgiving can be a very busy day between cleaning your home, entertaining guests, and running last-minute errands, but it’s important to remember to stay in the kitchen when food is cooking on the stove, and to stay in the house when the turkey is in the oven. Try to keep anyone who is not helping with the meal out of the kitchen in order to avoid crowding and distractions. Make appetizers and treats available in a different room so guests can enjoy them without having to enter the cooking area. Among the hustle and bustle, make sure pets do not eat unattended chocolate desserts or drink unattended alcoholic beverages. Further, avoid decorating the home with amaryllis, Baby’s Breath and Sweet William, which are just some of the many pet-unfriendly flowers used for arrangements.   

In addition to watching the turkey, it’s also important to keep an eye on your children. Without the right safety strategies, a child's curiosity and excitement for the holiday can result in cuts, bruises, and burns. Create a “no-kid zone” that is at least 3 feet away from cooking areas, and make sure electrical cords are not hanging from places kids can reach. Also, make sure that floors and walkways are clear to prevent trips and falls.

Lastly, if you’re traveling for the holiday, drive safely. The Thanksgiving period is one of the most dangerous times of year for drivers. Plan your travel route by checking weather and road conditions, and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. If you are driving at dusk, be aware of pedestrians who become harder to see at this time of day. Always observe the speed limit, use seat belts, and never drink and drive.

Follow these safety tips and it will be a safe Thanksgiving celebration for the whole family!

Did You Know?

  • Cooking fires are the leading cause of residential fires on Thanksgiving Day compared to any other day of the year. (Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA))
  • In 2013, unattended cooking was the largest contributor to home cooking fires. (Source: National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA))
  • The most common time of day for cooking fires on Thanksgiving is between noon and 3 p.m. (Source: FEMA)
  • Smoke alarms should be tested once a month, and replaced every 10 years. (Source: Department of Human Services (DHS))
  • Children under 5 years make up over one third of all pediatric Thanksgiving injuries. (Source: Pediatrics)
  • The Thanksgiving period, Wednesday evening to Sunday evening, is one of the most dangerous times of year for drivers. (Source: National Safety Council (NSC))
National Fire Protection Agency: Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips
Turkey Fryer Demonstration
ABC News: Thanksgiving Kitchen Fires
Federal Emergency Management Agency: Cooking Fire Safety
Food Safety Tips for Holiday Meals
ServSafe 2013: Thanksgiving Food Safety 
Dina Burstein, MD: Scald Burns in Kids