Thanksgiving Home and Travel Safety Tips

October 1, 2015

Thanksgiving Home and Travel Safety TipsThanksgiving is almost here and across the country, Canadians are getting ready to visit (or entertain) family and friends over good food, conversation and laughter. As busy as the Thanksgiving long weekend can be, however, it’s important to keep safety precautions top of mind to ensure the holiday goes off without a hitch.

Around the home

According to the U.S.-based National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and related injuries, which peak on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

Thanksgiving has the dubious distinction of taking the biggest piece of the (pumpkin) pie. Compared to a typical, non-holiday day, the NFPA says that there are three times as many fires on Thanksgiving Day than the norm. And when it comes to home insurance, State Farm has indicated that grease- and cooking-related claims are more than double on Thanksgiving Day compared to a typical day.

It’s likely safe to assume that it’s not all that different here in Canada.

  • Check your fire alarms to ensure they’re working and have a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Clean the oven well in advance to remove grease that may have built up or charred leftovers from dinners past.
  • Keep your cooking area clear of combustibles like oven mitts, potholders, and tea towels. Also, when cooking avoid wearing clothing that is loose or has dangling sleeves.
  • Never leave stove top cooking unattended, and if you have to leave the room—even for a minute—it’s safest to just turn it off.
  • When using the oven, check it regularly. And no matter how long it takes to cook your bird, never leave your home with the oven on.
  • When the meal is ready, and before you sit down to enjoy, check that the stove and oven have been turned off.

Deep fried turkey is increasingly popular, but turkey fryers can be dangerous if not used properly. The NFPA actually discourages people from using them.

On the road

Anytime there’s a long weekend you can rely on traffic (especially when there’s a family holiday involved like Thanksgiving) and a heavy police presence on the roads watching out for drivers who are impaired, distracted, behaving aggressively or not wearing their seat belts.

Don’t take any chances on the road with these long weekend safe driving tips.

  • Get some rest before you head out, and be extra cautious when coming home at the end of the night.
  • Buckle up and make sure everyone else does too. It’s estimated that about five per cent of Canadians don’t buckle up, yet they represent one-third of fatalities in collisions where there’s been a death.
  • Be patient. Holiday long weekend traffic is going to be slow, and trying to “make up” the time lost by driving aggressively or speeding once traffic lets up will only increase the odds that you’ll get into a collision or get pulled over and handed a ticket.
  • If there is a collision on route, give emergency personnel the space they need when you pass them. Slow down and move over for police, ambulance, fire trucks, or tow trucks with flashing lights on and stopped at the side of the road; it’s the law and comes with some pretty hefty fines.
  • Leave a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you, and always signal before you change lanes.
  • Don’t drive distracted or impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Pass the gravy please!

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday distract you. This Thanksgiving keep safety on the front burner at home and on the road.