Thanksgiving is a great time of year for getting together with loved ones, catching up, having fun, and of course, sharing a delicious feast. While preparing for the holiday, use these tips to keep your family safe during Thanksgiving.

1. Keep Your Home Secure While You’re Away

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Thieves know that this means many homes will be left unattended over a long holiday weekend. Take steps to improve home security before you leave town. Secure all doors, windows, and other points of entry with reliable locks.

If your home doesn’t have an alarm system, the beginning of the holiday season is a good time to have one installed. Don’t share your travel plans on social media, and put a few lamps on timers to make it appear that someone’s home.

2. Stay Safe During Thanksgiving While Traveling

Your home is secured and it’s time to hit the road. If driving to your destination, make sure your car is in great shape. Check your tires, wipers, and fluids. Sign up with a roadside assistance program, especially if your car is older.

Plan your trip with frequent breaks so you’re well-rested. Share a long-distance journey with another driver. Download an app to stay on top of road conditions and keep an eye on the weather. Most of all, drive safely and responsibly.

3. Prevent Home Fires This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a peak day for cooking fires. Always pay attention to the food on the stove. Keep pets and children out of the kitchen and don’t wear long sleeves or loose clothing while cooking. Set a timer to prevent overcooking food and turn pot handles inward so they’re not in the way. Lastly, make certain you have safety essentials on hand. Test your smoke detectors and have a fire extinguisher in an easy-to-reach location and know how to use it.

4. Practice Thanksgiving Food Safety

Don’t let food poisoning or food allergies ruin the holiday. Before planning the menu, check with guests for any food or diet restrictions. When preparing food, wash your hands thoroughly before cooking and after handling raw meat. Keep cooking surfaces and utensils sanitized, and use separate cutting boards for meats and fruits and vegetables.

Carefully follow the directions for thawing and cooking a turkey. Use a meat thermometer and cook the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Either freeze leftovers right away or eat them within three to four days.

5. Keep Kids and Pets Safe During Thanksgiving

Whether you spend the holiday at home or away, kids and pets require extra attention and care. Keep restless children occupied and out of the kitchen with arts and crafts, games, or movies. If the weather permits, let them play outdoors. Keep lit holiday candles out of reach of children and pets.

While you may want to share your dinner with your pet, keep in mind that many human foods can make furry friends sick. These include raw turkey, sage seasoning, turkey bones, chocolate, and raw bread dough. Keep the trashcan closed and away from curious dogs and cats.

American Dream Home Inspections offers home inspection services in Northern New Jersey. Contact us to request an appointment.