Thanksgiving Safety Tips for a blessed holiday
Published 3:57 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Thanksgiving is Thursday, and safety agencies are encouraging best practices on the road and at home as families gather to celebrate.
The Mississippi Highway Patrol begins its 2022 Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Enforcement Period on Wednesday at 6 a.m. and concludes Sunday at midnight. State Troopers will focus enforcement efforts on state and federal highways and interstate systems to reduce reckless driving, speeding, and distracted driving issues.
Safety checkpoints will be conducted throughout the period to enforce child restraint and seatbelt laws while also removing impaired drivers. During the 2021 period, MHP investigated 195 crashes with 5 fatalities and made 158 DUI arrests on state and federal highway systems.
“Many Mississippians will be traveling the roads this holiday season to spend time with friends and family,” said Commissioner Sean Tindell. “The Mississippi Highway Patrol will continue to work endlessly to keep those safe on our roadways. Remember to slow down, wear your seatbelt, and avoid texting and driving. Happy Thanksgiving.”
“The Mississippi Highway Patrol encourages everyone to drive safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday,” said Lt. Colonel Malachi Sanders. “We will work tirelessly with other law enforcement agencies to promote public safety through strict enforcement of the traffic laws. Our primary goal will be preventing vehicle crashes by being visible on state and federal highways.”
Safety isn’t just paramount on the open road, however; Thanksgiving is also the leading day of the year for home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
The NFPA urges added caution when preparing the holiday feast, as Thanksgiving Day represents the leading day of the year for home cooking fires. Between three and four times as many cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day as a typical day of the year.
“Thanksgiving is a hectic holiday, with multiple dishes cooking and baking at the same time, along with lots of guests, entertaining, and other distractions in the home that can make it easy to lose sight of what’s on the stove or in the oven,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires, so we strongly encourage people to keep a close eye on what they’re cooking and to minimize the likelihood of getting distracted.”
Following are tips and recommendations from NFPA to help people cook safely this Thanksgiving:
- Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.
- When cooking a turkey, remain at home and check it regularly.
- Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.
- Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
- Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that can come in contact with a heat source.
- Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
- Keep children at least three feet away from the stove. Kids should also stay away from hot foods and liquids, as steam or splash from these items could cause severe burns.
In addition, NFPA strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers that use cooking oil, which can cause devastating burns. For a safe alternative, NFPA recommends purchasing a fried turkey from a grocery store or restaurant or buying a fryer that does not use oil.