The holiday season kicks off in late November, and it truly is a wonderful time of year. Before, during, and after Thanksgiving, however, you need to keep safety in mind. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you may need to take extra precautions this year.
Driving, cooking, and shopping are all activities that can quickly become dangerous when safety isn’t the priority. In 2020, even consuming the meal you make with family members and friends could be a risk.
We’ve compiled a few safety tips that can make the holiday enjoyable and injury-free, as well as some advice to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Before Thanksgiving – Road Trip Safety Tips
According to ADT, more than 13 million Americans travel to family and friends for Thanksgiving each year. While some people may opt to stay home due to the pandemic, you can still expect the roads to be busier and, thus, more dangerous.
If you’re going on a road trip, make sure your vehicle is up for it. Check your oil, tires, and other crucial parts and fluids before setting off. Having tires with plenty of tread is especially important for any winter driving conditions you may face this holiday season. Try to avoid driving during storms and other adverse conditions.
Get plenty of rest before your trip, and if you feel tired or distracted behind the wheel, pull over for a break and switch drivers if possible. Never consume drugs or alcohol on a road trip and always buckle your seatbelt while in a moving motor vehicle.
Even if you are sober, focused and careful, you should also remember other drivers might not be. Be aware of highway dangers, drive defensively, and know who to call if something goes wrong.
During Thanksgiving – Safety Tips for Cooking and Dining
Everyone loves spending time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, but for their own safety, you should keep kids out of it. Games, puzzles, books, and coloring can entertain children and keep them away from the stove. Make sure children stay at least 3 feet away from the stove and hot liquids at all times.
Conversely, whenever there’s food on the stove, a responsible adult should be supervising. Stay in the kitchen and make sure everything is organized and tidy. Don’t let stress get the best of you and take your time with food preparation. Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. Turkey fryers, especially, can cause problems.
Read our blog, “Tips For Safe Cooking This Thanksgiving,” for more pertinent kitchen advice – and a whole section about turkey fryers!
Holding a small, less stressful gathering is the safest option in 2020 for multiple reasons. Keeping your windows open and inviting fewer people to your Thanksgiving gathering can help slow the spread of COVID-19.
After Thanksgiving – Black Friday Safety Tips
There’s no disguising it – Black Friday is going to look different in 2020. Fortunately, Consumer Reports has some tips that can keep you safe from overspending, COVID-19, and other dangers.
Key tips include:
- Start shopping early – Walmart, Target, and other retailers will have “Deal Days” for the entire month of November.
- Shop online – 2020 is the year of online shopping, which means many Black Friday sales will be held online, too, especially when many cities, counties, and states require masks and limit the number of people allowed in stores. Best Buy and other top retailers have already announced they’ll be closed on Thanksgiving.
- Use websites and apps – Websites, apps, and browser extensions can help you compare Black Friday deals and find the best ones from the comfort of your home. Put items in your shopping cart to keep them on hold while you decide.
- Follow social posts – for exclusive deals and promotions, and to share the experience (and shopping intel) with friends and family.
- Know store policies – you may be able to get your goods in-store via contactless checkout or curbside pickup. Some stores may also have different return policies during the pandemic. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before making a purchase.
- If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t – avoid super savings from lesser-known brands and always check for the secure “https://” in the URL. Visit retailer sites directly instead of clicking on possibly fraudulent emails, use credit cards when purchasing, and research businesses you haven’t purchased from before by checking customer reviews or complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
If you do go out for in-person shopping, drive safely, don’t compete over parking spots, and follow all COVID-19 precautions. While the risk of robbery and being trampled by crowds is lower than normal, you should still keep our regular Black Friday Safety Tips in mind.
What If Something Goes Wrong?
You’ve read our Thanksgiving and Black Friday Sale Safety Tips blog, so we know you’re going to be careful throughout the entire holiday weekend. If someone else is careless, however, and you are injured by another’s negligence, our dedicated team at Jones & Swanson is here for you.