Tailgating Safety Tips
The start of football season means the return of one of America's greatest past times, the tailgate. Whether you are grilling food or enjoying a cool beverage, tailgating is the perfect pregame tradition. Nevertheless, it is important to keep your family and friends safe before, during, and after the game.
In many parts of the country, tailgating has transcended a simple pregame party to become an art form. On autumn Sundays in Pittsburgh, crowds start to form as early as 8:00 AM in the stadium parking lot. Veteran tailgaters can be counted on to choose the ideal vehicle, bring some games, and stock up on the right supplies. There are a few important points to remember that go beyond simply making the right food and beverage choices before heading off to the stadium.
- During the warmer months, make sure there is plenty of ice in your cooler, especially if you are bringing raw or uncooked meat. Keeping meat well-refrigerated prevents food poisoning. Nobody wants to spend the 4th quarter in the bathroom.
- Bring a fire extinguisher if you plan on grilling. Don't be that guy on the JumboTron without eyebrows.
- When using a charcoal grill, make sure the coals are properly cooled before putting them in a trash receptacle or returning the grill to your car.
- Before leaving after the game, make sure there is no trash or broken glass in your path. After a tough loss the last thing you will want is a popped tire.
- Do not let any guests who have been drinking get behind the wheel. Some fans may believe they are sober due to the excitement of the game but it is important to be safe.
- Dress appropriately for the weather. Alcohol not only causes the body to lose heat more quickly but it also makes painting your chest seem like a good idea.
Take Your Party to the Next Level
The key to any great tailgate is the food. Pizza, hot dogs, brats, and burgers are all great choices because they can be prepared in large amounts and easily consume in the comfort of the parking lot. If you're serving alcohol, make sure everybody enjoys responsibly. Music and entertainment are also key, as nothing will get you fired up for the team like some sweet, tasty jams. Be sure to bring a few games like cornhole, ladder golf, or simply a few footballs to toss around.
Most importantly, the key to any great tailgate is safety. By using a little common sense, you can be sure that everybody will have a great time even if your team does not pull out a win.