Tailgating Safety Tips

It’s LSU football season and for a lot of people in Louisiana, that means it’s the most wonderful time of year!   Time for tailgating, screaming at refs and rival fans and praying for wins. With all of the fun going on, it’s easy to forget about safety. However, whether it’s grilling or making a big pot of gumbo at your tailgate or at home, there are some safety tips everyone should follow this football season.  Before you spark up the grill, check out these Tailgating safety tips to help protect you, your friends and your home.

1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house or your RV. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages, and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.

2. Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare-ups.

3. Check for gas leaks. You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that’s a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.

4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like football flags, fan signs and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today’s decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.

5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. 

6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill and know how to use it. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don’t waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Call us for help immediately. Many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of letting trained professionals assist.

Don’t:

 

7. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face. 

8. Leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.

9. Overload your grill with food. If too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.

10. Use a grill indoors. Never use a grill indoors. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide, a deadly colorless, odorless gas that needs to vent in fresh air or it be deadly.