Thanksgiving holiday means extra safety hazards for adults

EMSA emergency medical experts offer tips to avoid emergency rooms this holiday
Dozens of Tulsans spend their Thanksgiving holiday in hospital emergency rooms each year. In many cases, accidental injuries are to blame.
Besides the usual overeating or occasional sprained ankle during the family backyard football game, many adults will suffer from burns, falls, electrical shocks and more.
“We see trends changing over time in how people celebrate the holidays, and often this results in additional safety hazards,” said Chris Stevens, public information officer for EMSA.
“There are more people frying turkeys than there used to be, for example. Also, holiday decorations get more elaborate each year, with more lights and bigger displays, all requiring more time on a ladder or wiring in electricity. This results in more opportunities for accidents to happen.”
Most adults are familiar with keeping the kids safe during the holidays, such as keeping decorations out of reach and avoiding poisonous holiday plants.
But, to keep adults safe, the medical and safety experts at EMSA offer their top tips for taking the sting out of holiday-related fun.
Important safety reminders include:
Turkey fryers –avoid fire and grease burns:
• Keep fryer in full view while the burner is on.
• Place fryer in an open area away from all walls, fences, or other structures.
• Never use in, on or under a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or any structure that can catch fire.
• Raise and lower food SLOWLY to reduce splatter, avoid burns, and NEVER use a FROZEN TURKEY.
• Cover bare skin when adding or removing food.
• If a fire occurs, call 911 immediately. DO NOT attempt to extinguish the fire with water.
Holiday lighting and decorating – avoid ladder falls and electrical shocks:
• Leave lights unplugged while uncoiling, arranging, and attaching them to anything.
• Watch ladder clearance. Do not get near power lines. Make sure the base surface is level before climbing onto a ladder.
• Keep small bulbs and fuses away from young children as they can pose a serious choking hazard.
• Replace all broken or missing bulbs with the power OFF.
• Do not plug more than three standard-sized sets of lights into a single extension cord.
• Do not attempt to string lights OR climb ladders outdoors in inclement weather, including rain, snow or sleet.
• Always use an approved ladder or step stool when decorating for the holidays. NEVER use a chair or anything else to stand on that may become unstable.
• Check last season's lights carefully and discard them if wires are frayed, cracked, or otherwise damaged, or if they have loose connections or broken sockets.
EMSA’s online safety resource center at or Facebook page at EMSA OKLAHOMA offers complete listings of how to keep you and your family safe at home, outdoors, from fire and on the school bus.

Return to the Safety Resource Center