Keep Your Family and Pets Safe on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude and enjoy a holiday meal with family and friends.  Unfortunately, with all the gatherings, it is also a time when cooking fires peak and when animals overindulge on treats that can upset their digestion. Here are some tips to help keep you, your family and your pets safe during this Thanksgiving holiday.

Prevent Cooking Fires

  • Never leave hot food or appliances unattended while cooking.
    • If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, stay in the kitchen.
    • If you are baking, boiling or simmering food, check food frequently.
  • Always be alert when you are cooking.
    • If you are under the influence of medication or alcohol, avoid using the stove or stovetop. 
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire at least three feet from the stove, toaster oven or other heat source. 
  • Keep the stovetop, burners and oven clean.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothes when you are cooking, since they may catch fire from the stovetop.

Prevent Deep-Fryer Fires

  • When deep-frying turkeys, there are number of things to remember:
    • Only use an approved turkey fryer with four legs and a built-in thermostat so proper oil temperature can be maintained.
    • Make sure the fryer cannot tip over, a major cause of most fires. 
    • Fry outdoors, away from buildings and other combustible items. Never use a fryer indoors. Keep children and pets away while frying. 
    • Follow instructions on what size turkey should be used, how it should be cooked and what type of oil to use. 
    • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry. Do not stuff the bird and don't forget to take out the bag of gizzards. Lower the turkey into the hot oil slowly. 
    • Never leave the fryer unattended.
    • Wear fry gloves; regular oven mitts may not be insulated enough.
    • Splashing oil can cause a flash fire and serious burns, so be careful.

Keep Your Kids Safe

  • Create a three-foot "kid-free zone" around the stove.
    • Young children should be more than three feet from where hot food, drinks, pans or trays are placed.
    • Never hold a child while cooking, carrying or drinking hot foods or liquids.
  • Hot foods and items should be kept from the edge of counters and tables.
  • Do not use a tablecloth or placemat if very young children are in the home.
  • When children are old enough, teach them to cook safely and always with help from an adult.

Keep Your Furry Friends Safe

  • If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked.
  • If you are baking up Thanksgiving pies or cakes, keep your pet’s nose out of the batter, especially if it contains raw eggs.
  • While you are chowing down, give your pets their own little feast:
  • Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones.
  • Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables and dribbles of gravy—inside a hollow chew toy.

Best wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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