Frying your Turkey?

The Holiday season is upon us, and most families are putting together a large Holiday spread for the family.       The last thing you want is to spoil this Holiday season with a kitchen fire.  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the amount of kitchen fires during the Holiday season triples, especially on Thanksgiving!

There have been several videos showing turkey frying being a very dangerous method of cooking the Holiday bird.     There are higher risks due to hot oil spills, scalding, injury and fire.    You may want to consider a commercial source if you like deep fried turkey.  

Other tips from the Fire Department
  1. Units can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
  2. An overfilled cooking pot or partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is inserted.
  3. A small amount of cooking oil coming into contact with the burner can cause a large fire.
  4. Without thermostat controls, deep fryers have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
  5. The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot, creating severe burn hazards.
  6. Fryers should always be used outdoors, on a solid level surface a safe distance from buildings and flammable materials.
  7. Never use a fryer on a wooden deck, under a patio cover, in a garage or enclosed space.
  8. Do not overfill the fryer.
  9. Never leave the fryer unattended because, without thermostat controls, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  10. Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use or after use as the oil can remain hot for hours.
  11. Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts and wear long sleeves and safety goggles to protect from splatter.
  12. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before it is placed in a fryer.
  13. Keep all-purpose fire extinguishers nearby.
  14. If a turkey fryer fire occurs, call 911 immediately.

Health and Wellness

There are a gazillion tips on stress reduction out there. Exercise is on every one of those lists. Try to carve out some time for it especially if it is a part of your normal routine. Forgive yourself for the holiday disruptions in your schedule. If exercise isn’t a part of your normal routine consider a taking a walk, even if its just a short one each day. The experts (I am not one of them) seem to think that getting outside, breathing deeply, and seeing the sun really will make you feel much better even if it is cold and blustery.

Just a few ideas

1. The National Mall
2. Niagara Falls
3. The Grand Canyon
4. The Statue of Liberty
5. Carlsbad Caverns
6. The San Diego Zoo
7. A Disney Theme Park
8. U.S. Space & Rocket Center
9. The Boston Freedom Trail
10. Mt. Rushmore
11. The Mighty Mississippi
12. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 

Driving in the Fog

The season is upon us where areas that are prone to fog will soon be covered in a blanket of white clouds. It can be challenging. Driving in fog, blowing dust, or even smoke should always be done with the headlights on LOW beam. You might think that the power of your high beams will help you see better but the reverse effect will occur. Use low beams. 

You should double the following distance you would normally maintain with the vehicle in front of you. If you can follow safely, follow the tail lamps of the car in front of you but maintain enough distance that if they should hit there brakes, you have plenty of time to react to avoid a accident. 

Another thing that you can do is to turn your emergency flashers on if you are worried about someone rear ending you. Use the right side striped lines as a guide but don't allow your right front wheels to touch or cross it. Sometimes people become so panicked that they pull off on the shoulder but not completely out of traffic. Expect this and be ready to react. Keep your window cracked so that you can hear a collision occurring around you.

So its icy out

When walking on ice, it is very important not to walk too quickly and to wear shoes with good traction. Many experts also suggest that people can avoid injury by taking short mincing steps instead of long strides that carry too much weight. Point your feet slightly outward. Watching the ground while walking on ice can help you avoid particularly dangerous areas, and that can be crucial to preventing a fall. Another important consideration is to avoid walking on ice in frozen lakes because of the danger of breaking through the ice and drowning or suffering hypothermia.

Walking carefully and mindfully is a lot of help when walking on ice, and good shoes can give you a little bit of an edge. Shoes with a lot of traction on the bottom can sometimes help you avoid falls, especially if that ice is covered in snow that the shoes can dig into. Some shoes can help in the same way that snow tires help when driving. Ice is sometimes so slippery that good shoes aren't enough, but a small improvement is generally better than nothing.

Hills are especially treacherous when walking on ice, and it is generally better to avoid them if you can. When you are forced to walk up a hill, look for a way to do it that doesn't require you to actually move up a slant. For example, stair steps would generally be much better than some kind of steep incline.

Connection vs. Nonstop. 

Know the difference before you fly. Flights with a connection or multiple connections have a greater chance of delays and then worst case scenario can leave you stranded in an unfamiliar city. While connection flights might be easier on your wallet, non-stop flights generally have less travel problems.

Long Lines

Even if you arrive hours early, you’re still likely to get stuck in a line at some point on the peak holiday travel days - whether while waiting to check in or pass through security.

Always err on the side of caution - especially for those traveling through the nation's busiest airports - when deciding how early to be at the airport. We encourage fliers to arrive two hours early for domestic and three hours for international itineraries.

“You might shave that a bit if you're flight is early morning or late night,” Ek said. “If your flight is in normal business hours, when airports are more crowded, then you should add another 30 to 45 minutes... Get thru security and relax. Who needs the stress?”

If you’ve checked in at home and don’t need to speak to an agent, curbside checking may save you time. Don’t forget to bring cash. It may never be more worth the couple extra bucks per bag than the night before Thanksgiving or the weekend after Christmas.

Winter Bugs

Coughs, sneezes, runny noses - they’re about as common at airports during the holiday travel season as over-priced, crummy pizza. Consider packing tissues, anti-bacterial hand sanitizer and medications, such as Tylenol. Even with those precautions, catching a bug is sometimes inevitable.