The family is the center of the holiday season. If family members are coming to your house for Thanksgiving Day, you should take steps to make sure your home is prepared for a holiday gathering and any disasters that may occur. While many people don’t expect bad things to happen during such a peaceful time of year, disaster can strike no matter the day.

Avoid Thanksgiving Day Hazards

(Pixabay / roxanabowgen)

Here are some things to watch out for on Thanksgiving Day:

Remove any trip or slipping hazards — Since there will be many people moving throughout your home, it will be important that anything that people can trip and injure themselves on is removed. Extension cords and toys can easily be placed in places where guests, especially the elderly, can trip on them, so clear them out of the way. To avoid rogue toys in walkways, designate certain areas of the home for children to play in.

Additionally, if you live in areas that have snowfall during Thanksgiving, make sure you have a way to clean up any excess water from shoes, as this can be easy for people to slip on. You should also make sure walkways to your home are shoveled and salted to maximize safety.

Be alert for fire hazards — One of the biggest safety threats on Thanksgiving Day is a fire. The U.S. Fire Administration has said that nearly 4,000 fires happen on Thanksgiving Day. This statistic is no surprise, as kitchens are very active throughout the day with families cooking dinner. However, there are many things you can do to prevent a fire from starting and spreading.

For starters, don’t leave any food unattended while it is cooking. While it may be tempting to take a break to see what everyone else is doing, abandoning the food is leaving the door open for a fire to start. Additionally, while you’re cooking, you should avoid putting food wrappers or hot pads near any type of hot surface, as they could catch fire. You should also avoid cooking over a flame while wearing loose fitting clothing.

Outside of the kitchen, it’s important to make sure you don’t leave any candles or fireplaces unattended. You should also have a fire extinguisher handy in case a fire starts. Let anyone using the kitchen know where it is located and how to use it. Before the holiday, you should also make sure that all smoke alarms in the house are working properly. If they aren’t, ensure that you replace batteries right away.

Keep children away from flames, and remove any objects that could be obstructing your home’s exits. That way, if worse comes to worse, everyone can escape safely.

Monitor children — There’s a good chance that you might have children at your gathering. Make sure that younger children are barred from the kitchen in some way so they don’t get underfoot or hurt themselves. You should also make sure that any dishes or decorations that are breakable are out of their reach.

Choking hazards — Since Thanksgiving Day centers around eating, you will want to make sure that you are prepared if someone begins to choke on food. Know how to provide the Heimlich maneuver to all ages if necessary. Additionally, make sure to take care when picking what kind of foods you give small children, as well as the leftovers you may give to pets.

Thanksgiving Day is meant to be a chance for families to gather and give thanks for the good things that have happened that year. One way to ensure that the holiday remains a positive experience is to prepare for any type of disaster that could occur. Even if nothing happens, knowing you’re ready just in case can be comforting to you and your guests.