Panter’s Pointers: Thanksgiving Safety Roundup

Panter’s Pointers is here to help you enjoy a safe Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving cooking and road trips to be with the family are fun, but can sometimes pose a danger to revelers. Follow the following tips on how to drive and enjoy your turkey, stuffing, and family members squabbling over crispy skin safely.

Cooking safely in the home

Fried turkey is increasingly popular in the United States thanks to its legendary juiciness. But frying your Thanksgiving turkey is a controversial technique, and firefighters and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are out in full force educating would-be chefs. According to the NFPA, “[c]cooking oil is combustible, and if it is heated beyond its cooking temperature, its vapors can ignite.” If temperature controls are defective or if the fryer has none, the overheating can occur and possibly lead to severe burns. Oil burns are excruciatingly painful. This kind of accident is terrible for the victim as well as for the property owner; no matter what, it can change everyone’s lives. The NFPA recommends going to a restaurant for your fried turkey, or investing in a gasless option.

If you still feel up to the task, follow these suggestions for turkey fryer safety:

· Thaw out your turkey completely.
· Cook the turkey in the oil at 350 degrees, no hotter.
· Cook the turkey outside on a flat, non-combustible surface, and definitely not in your garage or home
· Have a fire extinguisher ready; oil and water don’t mix.

It’s important to also follow other safety rules during the festivities. Many young children and guests will benefit from their hosts turning pot handles and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents. If one of your guests is burnt, remember to cool the area by running it under cold water until the heat subsides and then cover the burn with sterile dressing. Head to the emergency room. If someone chokes at the table, remember to call 911 or your local emergency number. Lean the person forward and give five sharp back blows with the heel of your hand. If that doesn’t dislodge the obstruction, give five quick, upward abdominal blows while waiting for help to arrive.

Thanksgiving week the most dangerous for drivers

This year, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) expects around 2 million people to travel to turkey dinners and family reunions, thanks to the price of gas dropping. Thanksgiving week is unfortunately known as one of the deadliest weeks for accidents. Add heavy meals, a healthy dose of tryptophan, and alcohol, and the danger increases. The FHP is recommending that commuters stay off the roads between 6 pm and 5 am. Seatbelts and appropriate car seats for young children are mandatory; FHP troopers will not be giving warnings to drivers this holiday season.

Follow these tips and enjoy your holiday!
National Fire Protection Association, “Turkey Fryers.”

Oregon Red Cross, “Thanksgiving Safety Tips.”

The Daytona Beach News-Journal, “This Thanksgiving, Loosen Your Belt but Wear Your Seatbelt,” Patricio Balona, 13 November 2012.

USA Today, “Thanksgiving Week One of the Deadliest on Nation’s Highways,” Larry Copeland, 18 November 2012.