The holiday season is here — and with that comes gatherings, food, travel and shopping. While it’s easy to get caught up in the holiday cheer, it’s important to stay on top of your safety game to ensure the season is enjoyable for everyone.
The East Grand Rapids Public Safety Department has a few reminders for community members during the Thanksgiving holiday:
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. Stay safe in the kitchen and your home with these tips:
- Always stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
- Don’t leave your home when cooking a turkey in the oven and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from dangling cords, knives, hot liquids and hot surfaces.
- Keep kids at least 3 feet from a hot stove.
- Never leave lit candles unattended.
- Make sure your smoke detectors are working. Test them by pushing the test button and replace the batteries once a year.
Use extra caution while driving the night before Thanksgiving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Thanksgiving Eve is often associated with alcohol consumption and a busy night for bars, making it a dangerous night on the roads. To be safe this year:
- Plan ahead and designate a sober driver.
- Use a taxi or ride-sharing service.
- Plan your trip with The Rapid.
- Report a drunken driver on the road by contacting Public Safety or local law enforcement.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
Additionally, Thanksgiving morning is a popular time for road races. In East Grand Rapids, the annual Gobble Wobble is 8-10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 24. Community members and drivers are asked to be mindful of runners and walkers along the course, shown below.
If you plan to leave town over the holiday weekend, remember to lock up your home, outbuildings and remaining vehicles. The City encourages residents to participate in the #9PMRoutine. This national initiative is used by dozens of law enforcement agencies across the U.S. and helps community members take simple measures at 9 p.m. each night to keep their possessions safe.
Community members who want to be reminded to lock their doors are encouraged to set an alarm on their cell phone for 9 p.m. or a time most convenient for them each evening.
Remove all valuable items from your yard and car and store them inside your house or garage. This includes:
- Bikes and toys
- Pool accessories
- Yard equipment
- Power tools
At a minimum, items left in your vehicle should be out of sight.
Locked doors are the No. 1 deterrent of theft. Make a point to secure the following items as part of your nighttime routine:
- All exterior home doors
Let criminals know you’re home and ready to contact the police. Ensure the following items are turned on before you go to bed:
- Exterior house lights
- Garage lights
- Alarm systems
- Security cameras
See something suspicious?
Call EGR Public Safety at 616.949.7010 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
For emergencies, call 911.