Safety tips for Thanksgiving and Black Friday

This week, many will be celebrating Thanksgiving in traditional fashion. By traditional, we mean eating and shopping. With so much time spent planning and preparing, it is easy to forget about the risks associated with these activities. The good news is that both can be made significantly safer by taking appropriate preventative measures. So, before the binging begins, take a few minutes to read the following Thanksgiving and Black Friday safety tips.

Thanksgiving Fire Prevention. Did you know that the average number of residential fires nearly doubles on Thanksgiving? Fortunately, FEMA put together the following list of safety tips to reduce the risk of a Thanksgiving fire.

  • Stand by your pan. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.  
  • Keep an eye on what you fry. Most cooking fires start when frying food.  
  • Roll up your sleeves. This reduces the chance they will catch fire.  
  • Supervise children and pets. Make sure they stay away from the stove.  
  • Watch what you’re cooking. If you see smoke, or grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.  
  • If there is an oven fire, keep the door closed. Turn off the oven and keep the door closed until it cools down.  
  • Move flammable items away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains.  
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. This makes it harder to bump them or pull them over.  
  • Only use a turkey fryer outdoors. Place it on a sturdy surface, away from things that can burn.  
  • Check smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms should be close to where anyone may be sleeping.

Avoiding Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) Scams. We are not the only ones preparing to take full advantage of Black Friday. Hackers and other bad actors are preparing too, hoping to take advantage of stressed, hurried, and oftentimes careless consumers. It is a target-rich environment, and the predators know it.  The following tips from the Better Business Bureau can help keep you safe while shopping online this holiday season.

  • Beware of false advertising and phony websites. Watch out for lookalike websites. Pay close attention to the spelling of the web address in your browser.
  • Shop with trustworthy sellers on secure sites only. Be wary of unfamiliar merchants. Check their BBB Business Profile on Only purchase from secure websites (web address begins with HTTPS).
  • Keep your antivirus software up to date.
  • Price check before you buy. Best price offers may be misleading. Compare prices yourself because the best deal may not be a real deal.
  • Use your credit card. If questionable charges appear later, you can contest them through your credit card company. Never pay with prepaid debit cards or by wiring money.
  • Understand return policies. Understand the return or exchange policy for the exact items you want to purchase. Be aware that stores may not allow returns for “final sale” or “closeout” items.
  • Watch out for phishing scams. Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, calls, etc. Never click the links or open any attachments. Avoid phishing scams by ignoring suspicious correspondence and calls from unfamiliar phone numbers.
  • Look for the BBB Seal.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Human Equation prepares all risk management and insurance content with the professional guidance of Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk.

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