So your name was drawn out of a hat, and Thanksgiving is at your house this year. Or perhaps you sincerely enjoy hosting family and friends when the season comes ‘round. However you became host, keeping guests safe is your first priority.

Thanksgiving, dangerous? The concept may sound crazy, but the stats[1] tell us that Thanksgiving is one of the most perilous times of the year and the most dangerous holiday in the U.S.[2] Here are a few things to keep in mind when you have a house full of people.

1. Put your pets away

Keep your fur babies in a sectioned off area of the house for their protection. Pets become stressed when there are lots of unfamiliar people around them. Not to mention that something could fall on them, or a guest could accidentally step on or trip over them. Plus, guests have a tendency to leave food and drinks around, and a lot of Thanksgiving faire isn’t safe for pets to eat.

2. Just ditch the fryer

All it should take to convince you is a YouTube search for “Thanksgiving deep fryer disasters”. Every year, fryer accidents mean damaged property and even injury. We recommend just ditching the fryer and the stress that comes along with it. But if you’re set on frying the turkey this year, then be diligent about following instructions. Hint: never fry a frozen turkey and never do it indoors.

3. Limit the multitasking

Don’t try to play head chef and master host/hostess at the same time. If you’re doing most of the cooking, try to get it done ahead of time or plan for someone else close to you to do the entertaining. It’s important to know what’s going on in the kitchen at all times in case you don’t hear a timer go off, or a guest wanders in and tries to touch a hot pan.

4. Think about guest travel ahead of time

Thanksgiving is all about being festive, and your guests may want to drink alcohol with their meal. Depending on the type of shindig you’re throwing, you may want to encourage guests to Uber, use public transportation or even stay in a spare bedroom if they get tipsy. Also make sure to check weather reports before guests depart if you live where it snows or storms. The last thing anyone wants is an accident, and the roads are more dangerous on Thanksgiving in the U.S. than at any other time of the year[3].

5. Do a last walkthrough

Before guests arrive, go through common spaces one last time looking for sharp objects to put away or slippery surfaces to dry. Sometimes the surroundings we get used to can be hazardous to other people. Don’t forget to also move delicate, easily-stained or valued, breakable items. The more guests you have, the easier it is for something to accidentally break or spill.

6. Properly prep and clean

Food poisoning is awful at any time, but especially on Thanksgiving. Avoid it by properly thawing, preparing, stuffing and cooking your turkey. Be sure to also clean kitchen surfaces and protect against cross-contamination by thoroughly cleaning your cutting boards after each use.

[1] Sauter, Michael, et al. 24/7 Wall Street: The Most Dangerous Holidays. USA Today.

[2] DeBry, Robert. Thanksgiving Ranked as Most Dangerous Holiday. KSL.

[3] Diamond, Dan. The U.S. Death Rate Spikes on Thanksgiving. Here’s Why. Forbes.