Ways to Help Stay Safe and Connected This Thanksgiving
Ways to Help Stay Safe and Connected This Thanksgiving
Home Security

Ways to Help Stay Safe and Connected This Thanksgiving

By Ring on November 13, 2023

Thanksgiving is the perfect yearly reminder of what you’re most grateful for, from your loved ones to a warm slice of homemade pumpkin pie. But during the days of cooking, decorating, and travel required to reach those moments of peaceful reflection at the dinner table, it’s not always easy to stay in the moment — or avoid a blunder in the kitchen.

Whether you’re catching a Thanksgiving morning flight or hosting your extended family this holiday, these tips can help make your journey to the dinner table safe and smooth.

Tips for Thanksgiving Travelers

If you’re traveling this Thanksgiving, you’ll be joining millions of other Americans — which means you’ll probably hit a traffic jam (or several) in the airport or on the highway. Here’s how you can get ready for one of the busiest travel holidays of the year:

Prepare Your House

You may not have to worry about filling cornucopias and finding extra seating for this year’s Thanksgiving table, but that doesn’t mean your house doesn’t require a little preparation for the holiday. Before you head out, follow these tips to help protect your home while you’re away:

  • Install a Ring Alarm security system and subscribe to Ring Protect, sold separately, to get digital notifications wherever you are.1 You’ll get an alert from your Contact Sensors if a window or door gets opened or Motion Detectors if movement is detected.1
  • For extra peace of mind when the temperature gets frosty, connect Flood & Freeze Sensors, sold separately, to your Ring Alarm and place them in areas where leaks or frozen pipes could occur. With a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately, you’ll get a notification if water or temperatures under 40 degrees are detected.1
  • Use a programmable thermostat to save energy while you’re gone. Consumer Reports recommends going no lower than 55 degrees while you’re gone to help prevent frozen pipes. With a Ring-compatible smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature from the Ring App while you’re gone to prepare for a house sitter or help ensure the house is toasty when you get home.1
  • If you have a Ring-compatible smart lock, create guest codes for sitters or family members who need access to your home. You can also check out Live View when you get a notification from your video doorbell and remotely unlock the door straight from the Ring App.
  • Be sure to book a sitter for any pets you plan to leave at home, leave detailed instructions, and provide plenty of extra food and supplies. If your pet may try to sneak out, add a Pet Tag to their collar and set up a Pet Profile in the Ring App. Anyone can scan the QR code on Pet Tag to view information about your pet, automatically send you a notification that they’ve been found, and contact you anonymously.
  • Plan Ahead

    From minor inconveniences like forgotten headphones to major issues like a flat tire, a lot can happen during your pre-Thanksgiving journey. Here’s how to help avoid problems and increase your chances of a smooth trip.

    If you’re taking a holiday road trip, follow these tips from the American Red Cross and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Pack an emergency kit and tune up your car before heading out.
  • Travel at a safe speed with no distractions, wear a seatbelt, and use age-appropriate car seats for kids.
  • Plan your route and try to avoid the busiest times on the road.
  • Check the weather conditions and adjust your timing or route if a storm is predicted.
  • If you’re flying to your Thanksgiving destination, the TSA has a few tips to help in the airport:

  • Get to the airport at least two hours before your scheduled domestic flight to ensure you can get to your gate with plenty of time to board.
  • Review the items you can bring in a carry-on bag and what needs to be checked. If you’re bringing a gift for the host that can’t be spilled or poured, like a tin of cookies, you can stow it in your carry-on. A bottle of champagne or a six-pack from your hometown brewery belongs in checked luggage.
  • Listen for guidance from the TSA officers. They can help prevent unnecessary delays or even guide you into a shorter line.
  • Know What’s Happening Back Home

    Whether you’re near or far, the Neighbors App can help keep you updated with what’s happening at home. From safety information to weather alerts, you’ll get real-time notifications from your neighbors and local agencies. If you get a severe weather or power outage alert, for example, you can ask a friend to check in on any pets you left behind.

    Click to open Neighbors App in App Store. Click to open Neighbors App in Google Play Store.

    Indoor cameras from Ring can also help you keep an eye on your furry family members between sitter visits. With an Indoor Cam or Stick Up Cam, you can view live footage from the Ring App and tell your cat you miss them. And if you notice they knocked over their water bowl, you can text the sitter to let them know.

    Outdoor cameras can help you check on your car, shed, garage, or other outdoor areas to see if everything’s the same as you left it. If severe weather hits, you can also check for downed branches or other problems and call a friend to help.

    With a video doorbell and compatible smart lock, you can also check who’s at the door and open it remotely, even if you’re across the country. That means if you call a friend to check in after a notification that your Flood & Freeze Sensor was triggered, you can let them inside with your smart lock and use Two-Way Talk to let them know where the potential leak is located.1

    Tips for Thanksgiving Hosts

    From searching for dozens of ingredients at the grocery store to juggling side dishes that need different cooking times and temperatures, there’s a lot involved in hosting holiday guests. These tips can help make things more manageable in the days and hours leading up to the big dinner.

    Prepare in Advance

    Hosting Thanksgiving is always a little hectic, but getting as much done as possible in the days before can help you avoid last-minute shopping trips and dinner delays. Here are some things to cross off your list:

  • Review each recipe you plan to make and compile an exhaustive shopping list so you don’t have to search for an open store on Thanksgiving day.
  • Make a few things in advance, like stuffing, dressing, cranberry sauce, and pies, and knock out the first few steps in other recipes if possible.
  • Set up Quick Replies on your video doorbell to greet guests, so you don’t have to run to the door if you’re in the middle of cooking or setting the table. You can also add a festive faceplate to spread Thanksgiving cheer before your guests even step inside.
  • Stay Safe in the Kitchen

    While you’re whipping up a holiday feast, these tips from the American Red Cross can help keep you safe in the kitchen:

  • Even though your turkey may take hours to cook, you shouldn’t leave your home while it’s in the oven. Check on it regularly to help ensure it’s turning crispy and golden — not charred.
  • Move flammable items, like dish towels and food packaging, away from the stove.
  • Wait until dinnertime to change into your flowy blouse or oversized sweater. Loose clothing can be a fire risk while cooking.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove, so family members don’t bump into them while sneaking a taste.
  • Each month, test your smoke alarms to make sure they work.
  • Use Technology to Your Advantage

    Being stuck in the kitchen can make you feel like you’re missing out on Thanksgiving day festivities. But just because you can’t leave the food unattended doesn’t mean you can’t get involved in what’s happening in the rest of the house. If you have indoor and outdoor cameras set up, you can use your Echo Show in the kitchen to display live feeds — and with Alexa, you won’t even have to stop stirring the gravy.

    You can also ask Alexa to talk to the backyard, so you can cheer on your partner’s touchdown in the annual family football game. Or, if a guest arrives early, you can tell them to come in and meet you in the kitchen. If the door’s locked, Alexa can unlock your Ring-compatible smart lock while you baste the turkey.

    Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Now that you’re prepared to drive, fly, or host a Thanksgiving feast, it’s time for the most important tip of all: Have a wonderful holiday! We hope you get to share the best meal of the year with all your favorite people — and that there are plenty of leftovers to keep you fueled for holiday decorating and Black Friday shopping.

    1 Ring Alarm and all Ring Alarm accessories require a subscription for in-app features and digital notifications, including digital arming / disarming and integration with other Ring, Echo, Alexa, and third party products. Subscription sold separately. View ring.com/protect-plans for pricing and details.

    Ring icon
    Contact Info
    Have a Story?

    If you have stories or videos you’d like to share with us, please send them to stories@ring.com.