Families do the most traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday, making it the busiest travel time of the year. No matter where you are counting your blessings, you’ll want to protect your home from break-ins and keep your family, friends and four-legged companions safe. Whether you’re traveling out of town or hosting Thanksgiving dinner at home, we’ve got your security and safety tips.

Protect your Empty Home Using Automation and a Mobile Security App
Before you hit the road this Thanksgiving, ensure your home is secure and accessible. If you have a home security system that includes remote access, and wireless security cameras, remember, you can keep an eye on home from the road and stay connected. You can also use many of your home security system’s features to increase the security of your home while it’s unoccupied. Before you go:

  • Use your security and home automation system to schedule your lights and thermostat while you’re away.
  • Make sure house sitters or trusted neighbors know how to operate your alarm system, which can help avoid false alarms.
  • It’s also a great time to make sure the emergency contacts listed with your security provider are up to date. Take a few minutes to check in with your alarm company and review your account.
  • If your alarm system includes a mobile app, along with smart home or home automation solutions, one of the easiest ways to prevent break-ins while you’re away is to remotely control lights and sound systems, making your home appear occupied.
  • Use our video doorbell camera and Alert 360 app to see who’s at your front door and even speak with them, so that it doesn’t appear no one is home.

Share the Holiday Roads Safely with Millions of Other Travelers 
AAA estimates that more than 89 percent of travelers will drive to their holiday destinations while almost four million are expected to fly. To keep your family and others on the road safe, follow the below holiday travel tips.

  • Plan ahead for your holiday travels. Start with a full tank of gas. Check your tire pressure and windshield fluids.
  • Map your route and check weather and traffic conditions. Give yourself plenty of time to get there, with a few stops to refuel your body and vehicle.
  • Avoid driving when you’re tired. Use frequent stops to rest or relax away from the wheel.
  • Slow down and know it’s most important that you arrive safely. If you miss the main course, there’s still dessert and leftovers!
  • Always buckle up, and never drink and drive.
  • Be extra careful, allowing plenty of space between you and other drivers. Be aware that other travelers might be distracted, and use extra caution.
  • Clean your vehicle’s headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows.
  • On the road, use your headlights as dusk approaches and during inclement weather.
  • If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible or find a safe place to stop.
  • Make sure you include an emergency kit in your vehicle and include items such as water, snacks, a flashlight, first aid kit, extra cash, and blankets.
  • Stay healthy when traveling by plane, train, or automobile. Remember that everything you touch has been touched by someone else. Handle your own belongings as much as possible, and wash hands often with soap and water. Pack wipes and use them to wash hands or wipe down surfaces such as armrests. Pack your own travel pillow and blanket to create a barrier against the seat itself. 

Be the Best and Safest Thanksgiving Host
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or holiday guests, create a cozy and safe home where everyone can relax, including the chef. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Before visitors arrive, make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and consider installing monitored detectors so emergency personnel are alerted even when you’re not home or are unable to call for help.
  • Thanksgiving is a leading day for cooking fires. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and make sure everyone knows how to find and use it. Be aware of the potential for burns and fires when using turkey fryers especially, and follow all safety instructions associated with your fryer.
  • Sadly, being burned while cooking your holiday meal is common if you’re not careful. Prevent this and a trip to the emergency room by using pot holders and avoiding loose clothing when near the stove and oven. Closely supervise children who might help in the kitchen and around hot surfaces.
  • Relax during the chaos and break from your routine. Remember: Smart thermostats will adjust your thermostat if doors are left open by visiting children.
  • Give family members unique user codes for your home alarm system while they are visiting. Then, everyone can come and go as they please and your home stays secure.
  • Review pet safety tips to protect your four-legged family members. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, an estimated 25 percent of pets die due to food-related choking incidents. Let everyone know that they must not feed your dog “table” food. Keep the name and phone number of the closest emergency animal hospital handy.
  • While you’re battling over the wishbone, know and avoid the 10 most dangerous Thanksgiving foods for pets: turkey bones and skin; stuffing, with onion and garlic, which can be toxic for animals or cause anemia; mushrooms, which can cause vomiting, seizures, a coma and possibly death; nutmeg and sage; alcohol; nuts, raw bread dough; and chocolate.

Keep these tips handy as the holiday season continues through January, and visit our monthly blogs for various home security and family safety guidance year-round. At Alert 360, we’re all about family safety and fun! We wish you a secure and happy Thanksgiving and remind you to share these holiday safety tips with loved ones.

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