Thanksgiving Safety

Published on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Did you know Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires? The number of home fires triple on Thanksgiving.

The Culver City Fire Department encourages you to be safe when preparing your holiday meal. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • The leading cause of fire in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Stand by your pan when you are cooking on the stove top. If you leave the kitchen for even a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently. Set a timer so you will not forget about the bird as you watch the parade or football.
  • If you are frying your turkey, use a fryer with thermostat controls to ensure the oil does not become over heated. Thaw your turkey completely; ice on the bird will cause oil to splatter. Don’t overfill the pot with oil. Always use the fryer outdoors.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns. Have a kid-free zone of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Keep the floor clear so you do not trip over anything while carrying hot food items.
  • Be sure electric cords from appliances do not dangle off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — preferably, up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Review additional fire safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association

Guidance from the LA County Department of Public Health

Many generations often gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, so think about everyone’s risk for COVID-19. Take extra precautions if there are people who are not fully vaccinated and/or who are at a higher risk of getting severe disease if they get infected (such as older adults and those with certain medical conditions). If everyone attending is fully vaccinated, the risk of the COVID-19 virus being transmitted is significantly reduced. The safest option is to gather-in person only with members of your household and to celebrate virtually with other family and friends. Consider this option if you have loved ones who have weak immune systems or who are not fully vaccinated and at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease.

Tips for a Safer In-Person Thanksgiving Gathering:

For the many people wishing to celebrate in-person, the suggestions below provide added layers of protection. Use your good judgment to reduce the risk of COVID-19 among your family and friends. Remember that COVID-19 spreads more easily in:

  • Closed spaces with poor airflow
  • Crowded places where there are many people from different households
  • Close contact settings especially where people are talking or laughing close together  

On Thanksgiving (Or When Your Gathering Begins)

  • Stay away if sick. If you are sick, have symptoms, or have a positive test, stay away from others. Don’t host or attend the in-person gathering.
  • Get a COVID-19 test before joining others. This extra layer of precaution is a good idea if you are gathering with people who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID, especially if you or others at the gathering are not fully vaccinated or have been in crowded indoor places in the past two weeks.
  • Wear face masks when gathering indoors with people not from your household, except when eating and drinking. Bring a mask to wear outside if the gathering is crowded, especially with people who are unvaccinated or are at increased risk of severe disease (older adults and those with certain medical conditions).
  • Keep distance while eating, unless everyone is fully vaccinated. Set the tables so that people sit with others from the same household where possible and provide distance between non-household members. This is especially important if eating indoors.
  • Keep hands clean. Clean hands before and after preparing food. Have hand sanitizer available for guests. Remind kids to not touch their face or eat with unclean hands. Consider having assigned servers to reduce the number of people touching shared serving utensils before eating.

Thank you for helping to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for family, friends, and everyone in the community. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

To find a free COVID-19 vaccine near you, visit the LA County Department of Public Health’s website or call the Public Health Vaccine Call Center at (833) 540-0473, open daily 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM. No appointment is needed at many locations and free transportation may be available. You do not need insurance and you will not be asked about your immigration status. In-home vaccination is available for people who are home-bound.  

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