Give thanks through Safety!

  • Published
  • By Lisa Gonzales
  • Air Force Safety Center

It’s that time of year when the kitchen is filled with wonderful smells and laughter can be heard throughout the house. The hustle and bustle of everyone running around getting ready for a day of thanks.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, remember to incorporate safety in all your activities. Be prepared for the unexpected and remind loved ones to do the same by using proper risk management to keep accidents at bay.

“Every year the Department of the Air Force loses service members to preventable accidents during the holiday season,” said William Walkowiak chief, Occupational Safety for the Air Force Safety Center. “Please keep an eye on each other and don’t be afraid to speak up if you see someone being unsafe.”

If you plan to hit the road during the Thanksgiving holiday, remember to get your vehicle serviced beforehand and verify there are no recalls on your vehicle. Check tire pressure and tread, get an oil change, check the weather, and have a roadside emergency kit with extra food and water on hand.

From September 1 – November 30, 2022, the Department of the Air Force lost 6 Airmen, Guardians, and civilians to preventable, off-duty accidents Most were due to motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents with excessive speed, alcohol, and little to no training as the main factors. Don’t speed, don’t drink, and drive, and make sure you get the training needed to stay alive.

If you decide to fly, purchase the tickets well in advance, think of using an airline that has reserved seating, travel light and get there with plenty of time to spare. For the little ones, take a blanket with a pillow, headphones, books, and snacks to keep them occupied and happy.

For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where you gather around making favorite recipes handed down for generations or trying out new ones. When preparing the holiday schedule and organizing those family feasts, remember a few simple safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe from fire, injury or, even worse, death.

  1. Stay in the kitchen when cooking to keep an eye on the food and turn pot handles inward.
  2. Keep children at least three feet away from the stove.
  3. Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  4. Keep the floor clear to avoid tripping or preventable falls.
  5. Make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working and under 10 years old.

Deep-fried turkey has become increasingly popular over the years, but they are also the leading cause of house fires. Always use the fryer outdoors on a flat surface away from your home or structures. Have the correct fire extinguisher ready to use and never leave the fryer unattended. Keep children and pets away from the fryer to prevent injury, even after the turkey is done.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires  with three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment. Additionally, data pulled from 2017 to 2022 for DAF showed 1,571 off-duty injuries occurred during the period between September 1 to November 30.

Give thanks through safety by applying sound risk management decisions in all your holiday activities and if you “See Something, Do Something … Live to be Lethal!