How to stay safe traveling and cooking for Thanksgiving

How to stay safe traveling and cooking for Thanksgiving
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 11:29 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Elaborate meals and long-distance travel are common sights during the Thanksgiving season, and the American Red Cross has shared advice to keep you and your family safe this Thanksgiving.

Per the American Red Cross, most cooking fires start because of unattended cooking. Their advice is:

  • “When cooking a turkey or other items in the oven, stay in your home and check on it regularly.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry. Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Move items that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains. Also, keep children and pets at least three feet away.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.
  • Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • Turn the pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one bumps them or pulls them over.
  • Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on. Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.”

The Red Cross also recommends testing your smoke alarms monthly and practicing a home fire escape plan. You can find printable fact sheets on their website.

As for travel, the season is one of the busiest times for road traffic. To prepare for travel, the Red Cross writes that you should:

  • “Make sure your car is in good condition for a road trip.
  • Pack an emergency preparedness kit, supplies and a first aid kit in your vehicle.
  • Share travel plans with a family member or friend.
  • Check the weather before departing and along your route. Plan for travel around any storms that may be coming.
  • Be well-rested and alert.
  • Buckle up, slow down and don’t drive impaired.
  • Follow the rules of the road and use caution in work zones.
  • Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.
  • If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.”