Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and I’m sure it’s probably one of yours, too. After all, it’s a wonderful time to gather with loved ones and reflect on our life’s blessings.

However, as a personal injury lawyer Memphis has turned to for more than 30 years, I know that, like all holidays, it carries many risks. The biggest ones are, without question, driving-related. I’ve written before about the dangers of being on the road over Thanksgiving Weekend. Car accidents account for the vast majority of all Thanksgiving-related deaths. (According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Thanksgiving is among the holidays with the most fatal car accidents.) But even after you arrive at your destination, safe and sound, there are other common accidents and injuries we all must take precautions to avoid.

Everyone at Darrell Castle & Associates wants you to have a wonderful Thanksgiving, so we’ve compiled some of our best safety tips in the hopes of making it easier to plan ahead and stay safe.

1. Fires and Burns

Thanksgiving has more home cooking fires than other holidays, with almost three times as many fires as any other day of the year. It’s no surprise, given the amount of cooking and alcohol consumption involved with the holiday.

One of the biggest risks: the popular turkey fryer, which immerses the turkey in hot oil. If you’re making plans to deep fry your turkey, it might be best to reconsider: the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has officially taken a stance against outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers. A newer, oil-free turkey fryer is a safer bet.

Other cooking safety tips to consider:

  • Make sure your oven is empty before you turn it on.
  • Wear short sleeves while cooking.
  • Turn pot handles inward toward the stove.
  • Always stay in the kitchen while boiling, frying, or broiling.
  • The best way to deal with a stovetop fire is to slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames.
  • The best way to deal with an oven or broiler fire is to keep oven doors closed and turn off heat immediately.
  • If either a stovetop or oven/broiler fire isn’t quickly snuffed out, leave your house and call 911.

2. Slips, Trips, and Falls

The combination of jam-packed grocery stores and snowy or wet surfaces is a recipe for disaster. The influx of customers doing last-minute preparation at grocery stores makes it harder for staff to respond to spills as quickly as they usually would. All of this leads to a greater chance of a slip.

This particular injury risk applies to Black Friday, too. We’ve all heard horror stories of parking lot fights, or strangers accidentally elbowing one another. My suggestion here, as a personal injury lawyer Memphis TN trusts, is to think twice about whether you really need to brave the Black Friday crowds. (Your wallet will thank you if you stay home, as will your family.)

3. Food Poisoning

Believe it or not, food poisoning is not a rare occurrence on Thanksgiving, but rather, one of the most common causes of injury.

Raw, improperly handled, or improperly stored turkey can lead to Thanksgiving guests falling ill. Children and pregnant women are most vulnerable, facing a higher risk of associated health issues.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure that any raw meat has been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Refrigerate or freeze leftovers with two hours.

And with that, I’ll let you head off to finalize your Thanksgiving shopping and enjoy a safe and happy holiday with your family and friends.