Entertaining Safely Outdoors
Every fall people start firing up the grills and smokers for tailgate parties across the United States. For most this is a time to relax and unwind but for the host it might not be such a picnic (no pun intended). There can be a lot of considerations when you are responsible for making sure everyone is safe and having a good time especially when you are dealing with grills and fire.
The first thing to remember is the basics of fire safety. Never leave an open flame unattended. Never let children around the grill or campfire. Always make sure any fire is put out completely when it is done being used. These are all basic fire safety tips but there are other things to consider as well. When you have an outdoor fire always prepare for wind. Wind can spread sparks from a fire a lot farther than most people would expect. When dealing with food always make sure it is stored properly. A lot of perishable food will not stay safe for more than about 2 hours without being on ice. Make sure when you are planning food for an outdoor get-together that you take the appropriate steps to ensure that your food stays fresh before it is ready to be prepared. Nothing ruins a nice fall barbecue more so than an outbreak of food poisoning.
Another thing that is important to remember is to remain aware of the weather. If the weather begins to turn bad it is important to have a plan to pack up quickly and safely. Too many people leave the fire going assuming that rain will come along and put it out. This is not a safe practice. Even with rain fire can continue to burn under the right conditions and it doesn’t take much wind to spread a spark to a patch of dry grass or leaves that is sheltered underneath a tree.
One last word of advice. Most tailgate parties are not complete without a case or three of beer but it is important to remember not to operate a grill or work in a fire while intoxicated. Wait until after the cooking is done and the grill is off before cracking open a cold one. If you follow these few simple rules you will be certain to have a safe and fun football season.