Between Memorial Day and July 4th, millions of Americans will be inviting their families and friends over and firing up the grills. The tried and true Summer BBQ is a much anticipated event for many people and for good reason!
However, as the hot dogs crisp up and the kids set up the sprinkler—you can become vulnerable to a few summer party specific dangers. From proper grill safety to making sure your little ones are safe, here are the top summer safety tips to have an awesome and safe summer cookout season!
Grill Master Summer Safety
Most summer cookouts are defined by setting up the grill outside and preparing summer staples such as burgers, sausages, hot dogs, and corn on the cob. Let’s be honest, nothing defines the smell of summer quite like a fired up grill. So, how can grill masters make sure they are following all the essential summer safety tips?
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby and ready for use. Make sure others (besides yourself) at the party know how to use it as well, just in case.
- Keep a tidy grill station. Do not have anything unnecessary near your grill such as decorations, dirty utensils, or hand towels. Whether these accessories are flammable or not, it’s just not worth the risk of something getting in the way and causing an accident.
- Make sure your grill is clean and working properly. Double check for holes, leaks, cracks, or grease build-up that could cause a grill fire.
- Stay away from the house! Having your grill on the deck is probably convenient, but it may not be in your best interest. Try and have your grill at least 10 feet away from the house if possible.
Keeping the Kids Safe
Cookouts are often a time for families to get together, so odds are there are going to be some little ones running around! Keep them by following a few of these summer safety tips:
- Always have someone keeping watch if there is a pool or sprinkler in play.
- Don’t allow running near the food or any area that is wet.
- Make sure that nothing is around kids to trip on while playing.
- Don’t allow children to be near the grill, whether it is being used or not. Consider putting a baby gate up around the cooking area.
- Keep food/drink that is not kid-friendly out of reach such as alcohol, food with common allergens, or anything too hot or spicy.
Fireworks Summer Safety
Especially on the 4th of July, many summer parties culminate with a fantastic display of fireworks. While majestic and a 4th of July tradition, fireworks can be extremely dangerous. Keep caution with the following fireworks summer safety tips:
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Read directions on all fireworks before using, they may work differently than you expect.
- Never give fireworks to children.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Only use fireworks outside in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
Home Summer Safety
While everyone is enjoying the outdoor cookout, it can be easy to forget about what may be going on inside. Intruders are likely to go unnoticed during this type of event, when you have doors unlocked for friends and family to come and go, while you are in the backyard.
If you have a security system, keep it armed during the party – many home security systems offer custom settings so you can choose what you’d like to be alerted about. Also, keep your video surveillance on, especially if you have multiple entrances that will be unlocked during the party.
Lastly, if you are attending a cookout rather than hosting one, be sure to arm your security system while you’re away, and keep automatic lights on so it does not look like your home is completely unattended.