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Tips for a Safe and Healthy Thanksgiving

Check our list twice to keep holiday gatherings festive

Here are some tips from your electric cooperative to help keep your Thanksgiving Day celebration a little safer, healthier and more energy efficient.

Preparing the Feast

Thawing a turkey? Planning ahead can make a big difference.

• Put the still-wrapped bird on a tray to keep fluids from contaminating food in the refrigerator.

• Thaw it in the refrigerator one day for every 4 pounds. That means you’ll have to start thawing a 20-pound gobbler the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

• Clean your stove and oven before you start cooking your holiday meal.

• Use the self-cleaning mode on your oven just after you’ve used it to take advantage of the residual heat.

• Make the kitchen off-limits to kids who aren’t helping with the meal. This lessens chances of an accident.

• Don’t wear dangling jewelry or loose long sleeves while cooking. They could catch fire or snag pot handles.

• Keep Thanksgiving decorations and kitchen clutter away from sources of direct heat.

Fry the Turkey, Not Yourself

Deep-frying a turkey can result in a juicy, crispy treat. The production can also go very wrong. Here are some tips to consider:

• Don’t try to deep-fry a turkey indoors. Use a propane-fired burner and deep pot made for frying.

• Set the propane tank upwind away from the burner.

• Position the fryer in an open area away from structures or fences. Don’t fry in a garage, carport or porch that can catch fire.

• Make sure turkey skin is completely dry to prevent spatter burns. Ease the turkey into and out of the hot oil.

• Keep a close eye on the oil temperature and turn off the burner if the oil begins to smoke.

• If the oil catches fire, call 911 immediately. DO NOT try to put out the fire with water, which will only spread the flames.

Going to Memaw’s?

If you’re taking a toddler to a home that’s not childproof:

• Take medicines off bedside tables or out of unlocked drawers. Store them in a locked box or on a high shelf. Iron pills or iron-fortified vitamins can pose a poisoning risk.

• Bring along one or more safety gates to block little ones from danger.

• Make sure bathroom doors stay closed or block them off with a gate.

• Watch out for small objects like coins or batteries that a curious youngster might swallow. If it can fit through a toilet paper tube, it’s a choking hazard.

• Traveling by plane? Don’t forget the car seat!

Have a Serving of Energy Savings

With added holiday expenses, saving a little energy—and money—can be a big help.

• Replace your lightbulbs with compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode bulbs. Your guests won’t notice a difference in lighting, but you’ll see a difference in your bill.

• Cook at least one dish from start to finish in the microwave, which uses about a third of the electricity of a conventional oven. Slow cookers can help trim costs, too, and they don’t add as much heat to the room as the oven.

• Load the dishwasher completely full. With a mountain of dinner plates, using the dishwasher will be more efficient than hand-washing.