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Plan Now for a Safe Thanksgiving Holiday

Release Date Release Number
R5-21-NR-67
Release Date:
November 22, 2021

CHICAGO – With Thanksgiving fast approaching, make safety a priority while enjoying celebrations with family and friends.

“Take precautions when cooking and heating your home to reduce the risk of a house fire during the holidays,” said Moises Dugan, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “We also must remember COVID-19 is still a risk and stay vigilant against its spread. Take the time to check the CDC’s website for the latest guidance on safer ways to celebrate this season while protecting the ones you love.”

Keep in mind these additional tips to keep your holidays as healthy and safe as possible:

  • Be a prepared traveler. If you are considering traveling for a holiday or event, visit the CDC’s Travel page to help you decide what is best for you and your family. The CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated. Always wear a mask in public settings and wash your hands often. If you’re driving, ensure you have an emergency supply kit in your car, and if you’re packing for a flight or train ride, consider a small kit in case of emergency: flashlight, batteries, & a spare USB power bank.
  • Protect against home fire risks. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. Before you celebrate, take the time to put working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside sleeping areas. Remember to change the batteries in these alarms twice per year or per manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Practice smart cooking. Cooking is the biggest cause of home fires and fire injuries. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so they won’t get bumped. Clean cooking equipment after each use—crumbs in a toaster or grease on the stove can catch on fire. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pan fire.
  • Heat your home safely. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, portable heaters and radiators. When you leave a room or go to bed, turn heaters off or unplug them. Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors and in well ventilated areas.

For more readiness tips, visit www.ready.gov, www.cdc.gov, www.usfa.fema.gov, or download FEMA’s free app, available for your Android, Apple or Blackberry device.

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Last updated November 22, 2021