Americans will be cooking about 51 million turkeys for Thanksgiving this year. What could possibly go wrong?
According to The National FIre Association, the deep fryer, that turkey cooking wonder, causes fifteen million dollars in damage, destroys 900 homes, causes five deaths and sixty injuries on Thanksgiving Day. Here is a little film created by State Farm to show some of the dangers.
But, if you don’t blow that fryer up, consider some other safety hazards--Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings, which means over 40 million people will be driving someplace to celebrate the holiday weekend (defined as Wednesday through Sunday). Second to top the list of Thanksgiving dangers is car accidents, 42 percent of the death wrecks are those in which alcohol was a factor and 60 percent of the deceased weren’t wearing a seatbelt.
Third on the list is ‘Holiday Heart Syndrome’. Evidently, that three thousand calorie dinner, plus alcohol and stress are poor mixers for your regular heartbeat pattern. Having a little game of tag football might help drop a few pounds--or all of them if you have a coronary event because you aren’t really in as good of shape as you thought. Did we mention injuries are common?
But...maybe you make it safely to your destination, through the cooking hazards (including carving accidents), dinner and family interaction with your heart still beating. There is still the possibility you could be one of the 7000 to contract salmonella from that turkey if it wasn’t cooked to an internal temperature of or if it was left out too long after cooking (two hours is the maximum).
If the turkey doesn’t slow you down, there is always the holiday decorating, which funnels a few more guests through the doors of emergency rooms, since people have a couple of drinks and then fall off the roof or forget to check their holiday lights for damage before they get shocked.
Mental illness, spreading the flu, domestic violence and sick pets (from trash and counter browsing) round out the field of top Thanksgiving hazards you may encounter during you holiday.
Here are some ways you can avoid the biggest Thanksgiving hazards:
- Drive carefully. Remind your passengers to wear their seat belts, keep a sharp eye out for road hazards, especially in bad weather, and have a designated driver if alcohol is involved.
- Cook safely. Cook, handle, and store food properly.
- Eat, drink and play in moderation.
- Don’t drink and drive your ladder, roof, or electrical appliances. Check decorations for wiring damage before you plug them in, and wait until you're sober to climb on anything.
- Lock up your pet during cooking and eating activities until the trash is safely vested in the dumpster. (This includes outside if you’re frying a turkey, since most fryers can be tipped over by a well-fed rat.)
- Breathe. Keep in mind that your cousin with the abhorrent political or personal views will not be coming home with you tonight. Yay!
We hope some of these suggestions will help you avoid the biggest hazards and we wish you and all of yours the very safest and happiest Thanksgiving!