Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude and enjoy a holiday meal with family and friends. Unfortunately, it's also the occasion for increases in cooking fires and automobile accidents. Alder & Cox Insurance wants you to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday so we've provided some tips that will help make your holiday weekend safer this year.
Planning to hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday to visit with family and friend? You won’t be alone. The AAA forecasts 42.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, marking a 4-percent increase over last year. Before you embark, consider these tips to help prepare you and your car for whatever challenges might be faced on the road.
- Fuel up. Don't head out on a long trip without a full tank of gas. In addition to topping off the tank, also check fluids and tire pressures before you leave.
- Be prepared. Bring supplies in the event of an accident or medical issues. Stock your car with an emergency kit - especially a flashlight, blanket, first-aid kit, and some basic tools. Also, bring water and extra snacks, just in case.
- Pack smart. Check your vehicle's load capacity to make sure you aren't putting too much weight in the car. On most new cars, the total weight you can carry is printed on a placard (sticker) inside the driver's door jamb. This load rating includes all the passengers and cargo. Also, make sure your gear is packed properly and will not be a hazard if you stop short.
- Track it. A portable GPS navigation system will help you get where you're going, making it easy to find gas stations or restaurants along the way. Traffic-enabled devices can warn of roadway congestion, and all units should something.
- Kid prep. If you're driving with kids, make sure you pack enough smart snacks, water, games, videos/DVDs, and music to keep them occupied during your journey.
- Traveling with pets. Be sure to secure your pets, either with a harness and seat belts or by placing them in a crate. Animals can be dangerous distractions when driving and physical threat in an accident, should they travel about the vehicle or escape onto a busy motorway. Bring water, food, toys, leash and cleanup supplies - you never know.
- Be patient. During busy travel times, expect to hit traffic. It may make sense to drive late at night or early in the morning to avoid the rush and ensure you get to your destination on time and with minimal stress. A GPS device with traffic information and an exit guide can help you navigate around congestion and help find desired pit stop location.
- Don't be distracted. Cell phones and driving don't mix, so if you need to send a message or make a call, hand your phone to a passenger or pull over. It's not worth risking your life or others on the road.
- Buckle up. Always use your seat belts, make sure children are properly secured in a car seat and are seated in the rear seats if they are under 13.
- Watch for weather. If you're driving in wintery weather, make sure you clear off the snow and ice for better visibility, allow for longer braking distances, and reduce your speed.
- Keep control. There could be a variety of scenarios on the road, but if you stay calm and be prepared you can get through any challenge.
Safety First, Turkey Second!
In the U.S., Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires, 90 percent of which are caused by unattended cooking.
Ten Tips to Avoid Thanksgiving Day Disaster
- Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling, or broiling food and keep a fire extinguisher handy. If you leave the kitchen even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build up.
- Keep anything that can catch fire - potholders, wooden utensils, food wrappers, towels or curtains - away from your stovetop.
- Make sure your sleeves are out of the way when cooking. Wear tighter fitting clothing with shorter sleeves.
- Have a "kid-free zone" of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- Never hold a child while cooking, drinking or carrying hot food or liquids.
- Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.
- Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with the doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
- If you are deep frying your turkey, before filling your fryer with oil, take into account how much the oil level will rise with the turkey in the fryer to prevent overspill. Also make sure the turkey is completely thawed in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frying a frozen turkey will splatter violently.
Wishing your a safe and happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Alder & Cox Insurance!