Holiday Season Safety Tips

  • Published
  • By 944th Fighter Wing Safety Office
  • 944th Fighter Wing

The holiday season is here and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. With the holidays often comes travel, food, and time with family and friends. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or turkey cooking expert, to maximize this time and prevent potential hazards or incidents, take a few minutes to read these Thanksgiving safety tips.

Food is nearly a synonymous term with the holidays and a turkey dinner is typically the centerpiece. Have you prepared a turkey before? If you're hosting this year or just helping out, don't let food poisoning be this year's Thanksgiving story to remember. Don't be a turkey and follow these turkey tips:

   -Safely cooking a turkey starts with correctly defrosting it; place your bird on a tray or pan to catch any juices and keep it refrigerated until it is ready to cook.

   - A 20-pound frozen turkey can take up to five days to thaw out so plan ahead.

   - Turkeys need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Make sure you take a temperature reading from several places to ensure your bird is cooked through.

   - Leftovers need to be refrigerated within two hours after serving.

It can get hectic preparing a Thanksgiving meal, and there seems to be a couple of stories each year on the news right around Thanksgiving about an unfortunate fire occurring. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind to not be one of those stories.

   -"Stand by your pan" when cooking. Never leave food, grease, or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended.

   -Pot holders, oven mitts, food wrappers, and other items that can catch fire should be kept away from the stove. 

   - Children should also be kept away from hot stoves and paid particular attention to when they are in the kitchen.

   - Facing pot handles toward the rear of the stove can save them from being knocked over and scalding people nearby.

   - Long sleeves and loose clothing should be avoided while cooking as they can easily catch fire.

Traveling can be one of the more stressful parts of the holiday season, but by following these tips, the focus can remain on family, friends, and celebration.

   - An emergency road kit is important to have in case of a breakdown or accident. Most big box stores or automotive stores carry these.

   - Ideally, try to travel outside of the heaviest days to avoid congestion, which are Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday afterward.

   - Ensure your vehicle is road-ready and start your trip with a full tank of gas.

   - Avoid unnecessary distractions such as texting, being on your phone, or fumbling with other items while driving.

   - Don't drink and drive.

   - At airports, remember the 3-1-1 rule, which is that you are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag.

   - Food items in your carry-on luggage must be in clear plastic bags and less than 3.4 ounces.

   - Thanksgiving is the busiest time of the year at airports; packing smartly will help security lines move along quickly.  

In considering and following all of these tips your holiday season will be more likely to be incident free, allowing for more fun with family and friends.