Thanksgiving Day is all about the food, football and spending time with family. But what if your head gets stuck in a turkey?
The scene of Joey from Friends attempting to remove raw poultry from his head won’t soon be forgotten. Although everyone laughed at his antics, it’s not uncommon for accidents to happen over holidays! Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year and collisions are common, along with house fires and other accidents that put you and your family at risk.
So, whether you are going to brave the traffic or cook the meal, here are a number of precautions you can take so that the only things you have to worry about are which team will win the football game and what to buy the next day amid the Black Friday sales.
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Travel Safety Tips
If you are traveling for the holiday, before you leave for the festivities, be sure to:
- Make sure your car is in proper working order. Be sure all of the fluids are topped off, the lights and brakes work, and tires are filled properly.
- If you are travelling out of Florida, check the weather and ensure your vehicle is equipped for snow and ice if your destination requires it.
- Check your route for any major detours. A GPS app on your phone can not only help you find the best way to go, it can also assist you in getting around both roadwork and crashes.
- During longer trips, rotate drivers or stop and get some rest if you’re feeling tired.
- Ensure someone knows your destination, route, and when you expect to arrive.
- Always obey the rules of the road, including speed limits and traffic signs, and DO NOT drink and drive.
- Protect your home from thieves. This may include locking up, setting timers so lights function as usual, arranging for someone to check on your house and collect mail, putting a hold on mail deliveries, and avoiding posts on social media signaling that nobody will be home.
Cooking Safety Tips
If you are the one lucky enough to be preparing (not wearing) Thanksgiving dinner, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure a successful meal:
- Roll up your sleeves or wear short sleeves while cooking.
- Clean and sanitize your food preparation surfaces, use separate cutting boards for raw meat, and wash all produce before use to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
- Be mindful of guest food allergies.
- Ensure fire safety equipment like smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are in proper working order and nearby.
- Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator, allowing 3 to 4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds.
- Refrigerate a thawed or fresh turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
- NEVER put frozen meat into hot oil.
- Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked – the temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.
- Do not leave food that’s cooking unattended and set timers to keep track of cook times.
- Be sure to keep surfaces clean from grease and clutter.
- Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking and eat them within three to four days.
- Use caution while using knives to carve a turkey or ham and keep out of reach from children.
- Do not allow children or pets in the kitchen as they could get burned from steam or splashing.
- Be mindful of anything that could catch fire near the stove or oven and electronic cables hanging off the counter tops.
- While talking, joking, and laughing, choking is a very dangerous possibility. Call 911 if someone becomes unable to cough, breathe, or speak.
- Ensure all appliances are turned off when they are not in use.
Home Safety Tips
Here are some other miscellaneous safety tips to be mindful of during Thanksgiving festivities:
- Always keep an eye on any children and pets in your home.
- Don’t offer turkey bones to your pets and ensure that other toxic foods are out of reach.
- Feed pets before guests arrive, this will ensure they are calmer and the excitement before eating won’t disturb their stomachs.
- Don’t leave candles or the fireplace unattended when lit.
- After the party, double check your home to ensure candles and fireplaces are extinguished, unnecessary appliances are turned off, and no potential hazards (leftovers, sharp/flammable objects) are in reach of kids or pets.
By taking the above precautions, you will make it easier to avoid car breakdowns, getting lost, and getting into a car accident, as well as home break-ins if you are out of town. These steps can also help you to avoid fires, food poisoning, and other mishaps that tend to occur in greater numbers when people gather to eat together.
We’re Here to Help Over the Holiday Weekend
All of us at Shiner Law Group hope that you have a safe, accident-free Thanksgiving. However, if you or a loved one is injured while celebrating or at any other time of the year, a personal injury attorney is always available to answer your questions, 24/7/365. Call us at (561) 777-7700 or contact us online for a free case consultation.