ORLANDO (November 18, 2014) — Millions of people will travel to spend their Thanksgiving holidays with loved ones, and the American Red Cross has steps they can follow to help make sure they have safe trips.
The holiday is also a time when cooks spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and there are tips they can use to avoid cooking fires while whipping up their Thanksgiving dinners.
“The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest times of the year for travelers, and we want to make sure everyone remains safe on their trips,” says American Red Cross Central Florida Region CEO Linda Jorge Carbone. “Cooking is the number one cause of home fires, so we also have information cooks can follow to avoid fires.”
TRAVEL SAFETY If plans include driving, travelers should check the weather along their routes and plan for travel around any storms that may be coming. Everyone should use their seat belts, and no one should drink and drive. Drivers should be well rested and alert and give their full attention to the road – no cell phones. Other driving safety tips include:
• Follow the rules of the road – observe the speed limit.
• Use caution in work zones.
• Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers.
• Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
• Clean your headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.
• Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches or if you are using your windshield wipers due to inclement weather.
COOKING SAFETY Cooks should avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while preparing holiday meals. Never leave the stove unattended – if a cook has to leave the kitchen even for a short time, he/she should turn off the stove. More cooking safety steps are:
• Check food regularly.
• Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
• Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
• Keep anything that can catch fire (e.g., pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains) away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
• Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build up.
• Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen.
• Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.
“People can also download the Red Cross First Aid App to have information at their fingertips if an emergency occurs,” says Carbone. “They can learn more about all of the Red Cross apps at redcross.org/apps.”
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/mid-florida, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/RedCrossMidFlorida or follow us on Twitter @RedCrossMidFL.