Thanksgiving Safety: How to Keep Your Home Safe

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

The biggest emergency on Thanksgiving should be whether or not there's enough pumpkin pie for a second serving. Take a few Thanksgiving safety precautions this season to make sure your plans aren't interrupted by bigger problems.

Make your home safer with one easy step.
From wild weather to fire hazards, our newsletter provides tips for protecting everything (and everyone) you love. Sign up now!

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

While at home

family at Thanksgiving carving turkey

Image: Cottonbro, Pexels

Whether you are cooking a feast for your extended family or you are going to a friend’s house, chances are there will be cooking involved. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the number one day for home-cooking fires. Here are some ways to stay safe in the kitchen.

Video: Winter and Holiday Fire Prevention

Play Video

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and learn how to protect your home, loved ones, and belongings.

Install smoke alarms

Best overall
Nest protect
Google Nest Protect
4.5 out of 5 stars
$119.00 price as of post date.
Read full disclaimer.

You’ll want a smoke alarm in or near the kitchen, on each level of the home, and in sleeping areas. If you already have smoke alarms in your home, be sure to check to make sure they are working. It’s also a good idea to replace the batteries at least once a year.

Some security providers, like Vivint, offer smoke alarms as part of a home security package.

Take extra precaution with turkey fryers

The are an average of 2,300 home fires on Thanksgiving day each year according to the US Fire Administration. Turkey fryers increase your risk of burn or fire hazards. Be sure the oil used to fry the turkey is the right temperature and always fry outside in a well-ventilated area.

Remove fire hazards

Remove anything near the stove that could catch fire, including wooden utensils, oven mitts, plastic bags, or towels.

Be ready

Be prepared in case of a fire. In case of fire on the stove, shut the stove off, cover the fire or burning pan with a lid, and use the fire extinguisher. Do not use salt, flour, or water to try to put out the fire because these substances could cause a stove fire to flare up. For a fire in the oven, turn the oven off and leave the door closed. Call 911 to report a fire and leave the home.

Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen

Best for reliability
Amerex B402 fire extinguisher
Amerex B402
$68.00 (sale price) price as of post date.
Read full disclaimer.

Be familiar with how the fire extinguisher works and teach your family to use it as well. It could be key to your Thanksgiving safety.

Avoid toxic air

If you are using a natural gas or propane stove, be careful of a carbon monoxide build up in the home. Run vents in the kitchen, particularly the ones directly over the stove and open any windows or doors in the kitchen at least once an hour to circulate fresh air.

Use candle safety

Be careful with candles. If you are lighting candles for decoration or scent, remember to never leave the candles burning unattended, and be sure to keep any items that could catch fire away.

Light Bulb
Involve the kids in the kitchen

Get the kids in the spirit of service and thanksgiving by inviting them in the kitchen. We've compiled tips for safely cooking as a family so everyone can lend a hand.

While traveling

Road and colorful fall trees

Image: Craig Adderley, Pexels

If you are traveling for the holiday, like many people do, you’ll want to make sure your home is protected while you are away. Here are some tips if you are traveling this Thanksgiving.

Install a home security system

Reader favorite

Many home security systems do much more than alert you if a burglar enters your home. Some companies also offer 24-hour fire monitoring services, smoke alarms, or a web-based systems that lets you check in from your smartphone or laptop while you are away.

SimpliSafe has affordable packages to help secure your home with added bonuses like smoke alarms and web-based monitoring. Here's some more of our top home security picks.

Don’t post your travel plans on social media sites

You may have your privacy settings turned on, but you still never know who could see this private information and what they’ll do with it.

Make your home look occupied

Before you head out, get your home ready to look occupied:

  • Set lights on timers. Inside and outside lights should be set on automatic timers to turn lights on and off at various times throughout the night.
  • Turn your telephone ringer down. Doing this will prevent someone on the outside from hearing repeated rings that go unanswered. Also review your answering machine message to make sure there is no mention of you being out of town.
  • Stop all mail and newspaper delivery. Be sure to stop any daily deliveries, like mail or a newspaper, while you are away. If you don’t want to stop delivery, ask a neighbor or friend to pick up your mail.

Make break-ins harder

Don't make it easy to get into your house when you're not home. A challenge may be the motivation a potential intruder needs to move on down the street.

  • Lock all windows and doors. Don’t forget to lock the upstairs windows as well.
  • Never leave a key hidden outside. Under a rock, under the mat, or in an outdoor light fixture are all places a burglar will look for your spare key. Instead, leave a key with a trusted neighbor or nearby relative.
  • Make sure the garage door is closed. Before you head out, give that garage door one last check.

Final word

This Thanksgiving, play it safe both at home and while traveling. Keep these safety tips in mind and be thankful for your home and family’s safety.

Related articles on SafeWise


Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Google, Google Nest Protect, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

Recent Articles

woman adjusting thermostat in bright home
The Best Home Security Systems of 2024
After thousands of hours of tests and research, we picked Vivint and SimpliSafe as the...
Man and woman couple wife husband set up surveillance security camera
Best Apartment Security Systems
These renter-friendly apartment security systems help keep you safe and require less commitment than your...
Best DIY Home Security Systems of 2024
SimpliSafe is the best DIY home security system because it's cost-efficient, effective, and easy to...
happy older women sitting together
Best Medical Alert Necklaces
If you find yourself in an emergency, a medical alert necklace can contact trained professionals...