We don't mean to sound like Chicken Little, but there are lots of ways you can get hurt during the holidays. Common sense is always the best guide to staying safe, but there are some areas that demand extra attention so you don't end up roasting yourself on an open fire.
A BUBBLING POT O' DANGER
Martha Stewart likes them. Emeril Lagasse is a fan. Deep-fried turkeys have long been a favorite Southern Thanksgiving dish, and the rest of the country is finally catching on. The process of frying a turkey in up to five gallons of oil is much more dangerous than making a pot of spaghetti, though. The Underwriterss Laboratories Inc., whose "UL" symbol can be found on light bulbs, hasn't certified a single turkey fryer as safe.
Lt. Richard Smith, an Augusta fire inspector, said the department's biggest concern is apartment dwellers who cook with gas grills on their decks or porches. That doesn't diminish the danger of turkey fryers, though.
"Most of people who use turkey fryers are already accustomed to gas grills and what to do with them," Lt. Smith said. "The more popular this becomes, the more a chances there are for problems. You'l get people who won't read the directions on the box."
This is what the Underwriterss Laboratories suggests:
TOSS ME A BUNDLE OF PAIN
It's late Thursday afternoon. The Thanksgiving feast has been consumed, leftovers have been wrapped up and dishes have been cleared. The weather is nice, and the whole clan is present, so why not throw together a game of touch football?
Plenty of people will, and if they don't stretch beforehand, they'll feel the game for days to come.
Craig Bryan, a strength coach and exercise coordinator at Health Central in Augusta, estimates that dozens of people visit the gym after the holidays with injuries to their knees, back and shoulders and ankles.
"We see a lot of people around Christmas, because they're all getting new toys, some of which they get hurt with," he said.
Don't want to feel like you've been hit with a sledgehammer later on? Take these Health Central suggestions to heart:
STRING 'EM UP!
Lt. Smith has seen some pretty stupid behavior when it comes to holiday lights.
From using staple guns and duct tape to string up lights to hanging indoor lights outside, there's no shortage of folks who manage to turn decorative lights into miniature torches.
"I had to investigate a fire last year where everything you could do wrong, they did wrong," he said. "They put everything on one circuit and one plug, and they overloaded the circuit; they burned out the whole line. It just traveled the wire and ignited the carport, causing extensive damage."
Here are some safety tips from Augusta-Richmond County Fire-Rescue:
Keep the Grinch at bay You worked hard this year saving up for that perfect present, so don't expose yourself to thieves.
Lt. Tony Walden, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, said theft reports usually increase during the holiday season because the opportunities to steal are much more plentiful. The following tips are from the sheriff's office and the Federal Trade Commission:
Reach Patrick Verel at (706) 823-3332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.