Tailgates typically occur in the parking lots at stadiums and arenas before sporting events. The first important tailgating safety tip is to assign a designated driver to get everyone back home after the event. While these gatherings are usually festive, there are things that can go wrong, from grill fires to freezing weather conditions. Below are five safety tips to keep in mind when attending or hosting your next tailgate party:
- Use the gas grill properly. Loose gas hoses and incorrect lighting can cause problems that put you and neighboring tailgaters in danger. To avoid an explosion, don’t light a gas grill with the top closed.
- Have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit in your vehicle. High winds, a hot grill, and flying items can lead to sudden fires or accidents. Check the date of expiration on the fire extinguisher before leaving home and keep the extinguisher nearby while grilling. If there are children or pets at the tailgate, keep them away from the grill at all times.
- Stay warm. Football teams play in freezing temperatures, but that doesn’t mean tailgaters have to experience the same discomfort. If the forecast shows extreme weather conditions during tailgate hours, purchase the easy-to-carry Big Buddy Propane Heater that can heat up to 400 square feet. Available at EquipSupply.com, the heater connects directly to two 1-pound disposable cylinders or a sturdy 20-pound cylinder. This indoor/outdoor heater will keep everyone comfortable and cheerful.
- Familiarize yourself with proper food temperatures and keep items appropriately warm or cold. For example, steak, potato salad, and chicken wings are all standard tailgate foods but they each require different food temperatures. To prevent bacteria from growing, store cold foods in a cooler with plenty of ice and keep hot foods insulated.
- Monitor the coals. Often times, grillers assume that allowing coals to cool down naturally with the air and wind is best, but doing so can lead to fires. Try to grill early on and completely put out the embers. Look for specially designated bins in the parking lot to dispose of hot coals.