Thanksgiving is one of the most enjoyable family holidays of the year. Sadly, it is also one of the most dangerous for both people and pets.
The chances of house fires and risks to pets’ health are high on Thanksgiving. Unattended cooking can spark a fire while sharing your feast with your pet can be dangerous.
House fire risk
First, let’s look at the risk of house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are more home cooking fires reported on Thanksgiving than Christmas or any other holiday. In 2015, fire departments responded to more than 1,700 home cooking fires in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day.
Here are some tips from the NFPA to keep you and your guests safe on Thanksgiving:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Now, for our furry friends. The American Veterinary Medical Association warns pet owners to avoid the temptation to feed dogs and cats turkey and desserts.
Animals that consume turkey or turkey skin can develop a life-threatening illness, pancreatitis, due to their inability to properly digest fatty foods. Onions, raisons, and grapes can be poisonous to animals.
Chocolate and the artificial sweetener, xylitol, can be deadly to cats and dogs. Also, keep decorative plants away from your pets as many contain toxins.
Follow these safety tips for a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!