At Value Capture, we strive to keep safety top-of-mind, and Thanksgiving Day is no exception. We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy holiday. 

Safety is a precondition to all work, and let’s face it, Thanksgiving is a lot of work. So here are Value Capture’s top 10 tips for having a safe Thanksgiving holiday.

1. Safely thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, allowing 1 day for every 4 to 5 pounds. You can also safely thaw turkey in cold water and microwave. See the CDC guidelines here. 

2. If using a deep fryer for turkey, follow the instructions carefully and continually monitor it. Thanksgiving is the #1 day of the year for cooking fires, reports State Farm insurance. The U.S. Fire Adminstration confirms that more than 4,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving Day, and preparing deep-fried turkeys, using a turkey fryer, is the cause of approximately 5 deaths, 50 injuries, and the destruction of 900 homes and more than $15 million in property damage every year.

3. Do not leave the stovetop and oven unattended (or be sure to monitor them frequently). Oven fires can occur due to spattering grease, and stovetop fires can occur when things like dishtowels are on or close to the cooktop.

4. Be sure to sharpen all knives prior to using them. A dull blade is harder to use and thus increases the risk of injury. Knife cuts are the most common reason people go to the emergency department on Thanksgiving.

5. Have a household fire extinguisher on hand.

6. If there is a grease fire, do not try to move the pot (you may burn yourself or splash hot grease on yourself), and do not throw water on it. If the fire is not too large, use tongs to try to put the lid or a metal cooking sheet on top to starve the fire of oxygen. Turn off the burner if you can do so safely. If the fire is small, you can pour baking soda on it. Use your fire extinguisher. If the fire grows or is already large, call 911.

7. Keep floors clear of clutter and be extra aware of trip hazards.

8. Do not put stress on yourself to make the “perfect” meal, and give yourself the emotional space to be less than perfect. (Yes, this is one of the few times Value Capture will advocate setting a goal at less than the theoretical limits of performance!).

9. Family members will have different viewpoints and behaviors than your own. Try your best to forgive and forget this holiday season. Focus on your similarities, and replace tension with something productive.

10. If you are driving elsewhere for the holiday, be sure that your car is road-ready (including making sure tires are at the proper pressure, windshield wipers are in good condition and the washer fluid full, that you have a safety kit in the car, and check that oil and other fluids are at proper levels). Know what the weather forecast is and be properly prepared (such as snow tires). Leave plenty of time for your travel – you do not get the wishbone for getting to your destination in record time.

Here are some additional safety resources: 

We hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Please feel free to share your tips for holiday safety in the comments section below. 

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