'No one wants to spend their holiday from the ER': Keep safety in mind on Thanksgiving

Nov. 24—Thanksgiving brings loved ones together with food and family traditions, but there are several safety tips to keep in mind while enjoying the holiday.

Nationwide, Thanksgiving marks the "peak day of home cooking fires," according to the Nation Fire Protection Association.

Holly Hazzard, clinic supervisor at the St. Joseph Health Clinic, said that people need to be mindful of crockpots, heating plates and other devices that could cause a fire.

"It's okay to turn them off," Hazzard said. "Be mindful of where they are, where they're plugged in and making sure that we're getting them turned off appropriately."

"We don't want to see burns or anything like that for the holidays. Nobody wants to spend their holiday from the ER," Hazzard said.

Many families will end their Thanksgiving dinners and gatherings early to prepare for Black Friday shopping at various stores in the area.

Steve Groshong, director of field operations for Buchanan County EMS, said that if people are participating, there are many things to be aware of.

"There's going to be a lot of people out there," Groshong said. "Parking lots are poorly lit ... you want to make sure that you're not going to accidentally run over anybody."

One of the other things to be reminded of is keeping track of belongings while shopping.

"Make sure to look around and make sure that there's nobody out there waiting to take what you just bought," Groshong said. "Basically, pay attention to where you're at and what's going on because there are people out there that will do ill will to you if you let them."

Riley Funk can be reached at riley.funk@newspressnow.com.