Turkey Day is nearly upon us, and if you’re like our family here at Howard Blau Law, you’re no doubt looking forward to some quality time with your loved ones. There’s a lot to be grateful for this year, and a lot to reflect upon as well — and considering the events of the past few weeks, the last thing anyone needs is any more stress. So with that in mind, we wanted to take some time to quickly review ways you can stay safe this Thanksgiving holiday, and keep your time spent with your family free of an hazards or accidents.

This article will mostly focus on physical and cooking hazards, but if you are looking for more further information, FoodSaftey.gov has a great entry here.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day in the United States for kitchen-related fires and accidents, followed only by Christmas day and Christmas Eve. Here is a list of top safety tips that the NFPA recommends to ensure you have a safe and hazard free holiday with your family:

  1. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  2. Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  3. Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot, so kids should always stay at least 3 feet away.
  4. Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause serious burns.
  5. Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  6. Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  7. Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer, or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  8. Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  9. Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  10. Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

While the above might sound obvious to most, it is still a good idea to run through the list with all of the teens and adults in your family to ensure everyone is on the same page. It never hurts to be over-prepared when it comes to the safety of young children.

Let also us not ignore the elephant in the room… the infamous turkey fryer!

Everyone has at some point heard the urban myths about this magical bird bath that creates a perfect turkey inside and out. But the reality is that improper operation of cooking equipment is responsible for almost half of all reported home fires and burn injuries, and is the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Meaning, it should come as no surprise that the NFPA strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers. The next time you are walking down the aisle of the hardware store, and you hear the siren call of that massive turkey fryer, just walk a long. Show some love to your trusty old oven instead.

We know the last few weeks has been very hard on everyone in our little community, and we truly hope that you can all come together and take this time to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your family and loved ones.

Happy Turkey Day from the entire HBL team!

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Check Out These References for Further Reading:

“Thanksgiving Safety.” National Fire Protection Association. Retrieved 19 November 2018. https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Thanksgiving-safety

“Thanksgiving.” Foodsafety.gov. Retrieved 19 November 2018. https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/events/thanksgiving/index.html