The holidays have officially arrived and we are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with our loved ones. While this year’s holiday may be a little different than what most of us are accustomed to, many families will be celebrating with festive traditions, but on a smaller scale. With that in mind, it is a good time to review Thanksgiving safety tips with a few added precautions.
Here are our top five tips for enjoying Thanksgiving safely this year:
1. Cook with Care
Preparing a big meal like Thanksgiving dinner may have you spending more time than usual in the kitchen. Remember that cooking accidents can happen without warning.
Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. On average there are 1,800 cooking fires each year on Thanksgiving Day, four times more than any other day of the year. Never leave food unattended on the stove or in the oven and keep flammable items away. Keep children out of the kitchen while food is being prepared.
If you are a fan of fried turkeys, remember to fry your turkey outside and away from your home. Do not set up your fryer inside your garage or on your porch. Follow the instructions on your device and do not overfill with oil. Turkey fryers account for more than 200 fires or scald/burn incidents over the past 20 years.
2. Stay Alcohol Aware
If you choose to celebrate with a drink, remember to do so within moderation. Being intoxicated lowers inhibitions, leading people to make different decisions than if they were sober. Accidents tend to happen more frequently when people are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Never drive a car if you have been drinking and do not let a family member do so either. It is estimated that 485 people may die on U.S. roads this Thanksgiving holiday period according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Be especially cautious when driving next week from Wednesday evening to Sunday. Even though the typical crowds will likely not be out and about, it is important to stay vigilant.
3. Travel Safely
AAA Travel is predicting that the number of Thanksgiving travelers on the roads and at airports will be down 10% from last year, citing a rise in nationwide COVID-19 cases, high unemployment, and recommendations to stay home from health and government officials.
If you choose to take a road trip this holiday season, ensure you plan ahead and research local guidelines and any restrictions that may be in place at your destination. Practice social distancing when making stops, wear a mask, wash your hands, and use hand sanitizer regularly.
Air travel this Thanksgiving will also be lower, with AAA predicting a 50% drop in travelers compared to last year. If you choose to travel by plane, remember some of the same tips above and consider using disinfectant wipes to clean your seat, safety belt, armrests, and tray table to mitigate risks. Before flying, double-check that there are not any specific restrictions for travelers at your destination that would mandate you to quarantine or provide testing results.
4. Give Back Mindfully
This is the time of year when we remember that some of the biggest joys in life are when we are able to give back to our communities, however, volunteering is another area where we have seen significant changes this year. If you are interested in volunteering with an organization over the holidays, talk to the volunteer coordinator about their policies this year. Many places may be looking for help that involves little to no contact, like delivering meals by car or picking up groceries.
If you do not feel comfortable volunteering in person, consider making a monetary donation to your favorite charity instead.
5. Keep Family First
However you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, always do what is best for your family. If an invitation makes you uncomfortable or you find yourself in a situation where it could be dangerous, make the decision to politely decline or leave. It is always best to err on the side of caution, listen to your instincts, and follow the guidelines put in place by local government and health agencies.
During these challenging times, it is important to remain patient and vigilant as we all look to safely enjoy holiday celebrations with family, friends, and loved ones, whether near or far. Our team at Panter, Panter & Sampedro wish you a restful and happy Thanksgiving.
US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Holiday Safety Information Center. Retrieved from:
National Safety Council. Holiday Traffic Fatality Estimate: Thanksgiving Day 2020. Retrieved from:
Hall (2020, Nov. 12). Fewer Americans Traveling This Thanksgiving amid Pandemic. Retrieved from: