It amazes me that the 4th of July is in a few days. The 4th is synonymous with getting together with family and friends, eating great BBQ’d food, swimming in the pool and topping the night off with a great fireworks show. After hosting a handful of these soirees, I’ve gathered some important 4th of July safety tips to ensure a truly HAPPY 4th of July.
Living in South Florida, we BBQ at least 3 times a week. Whether it’s chicken, hamburgers, or a pizza, we love to grill!
- Before we start cooking, we always make sure the grill grates are nice and clean. You don’t want any of the gunk from your last meal on the grates – that could lead to future stomach aches or even fire. I’m very skeptical to use a chemical-based cleaner, so we use a spray bottle filled with water along with a sturdy brush made exclusively for the grill. Please make sure that the brush bristles are secure, so as to not have any show up in your food later on! (It’s happened…) We put the grill on and wait till it gets hot, spray the grates with the water and then scrub away.
- Make sure that your grill is OUTDOORS. I know this may sound obvious, but you never know! Grills are made to be used outdoors, and at least 10 feet away from your home.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand for that just-in-case moment. You never know and it’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Don’t wear loose clothing when BBQing. A loose piece of clothing could dangle over the grill and possibly catch fire.
- Use cooking utensils with long handles. This will help to reduce any chance of your hands getting too close to the BBQ flame.
- Always keep an eye on the BBQ when its lit, and even when it’s cooling down, especially if there are little ones around.
- Make sure you cook your food fully. We use the iGrill2 by Weber to ensure our chicken, pork, hamburgers, steak, etc. are cooked to the proper temperature. All you have to do is download the app, stick the probes into the food (the app can monitor up to 14 probes) and check your phone to see if your meal is ready!
- Unfortunately, pets get lost more often on the 4th. Your at a BBQ at someone’s house and the door or gate to the backyard is accidentally left open. It happens! Give your guests a heads up that Fluffy or Fido are in the house and to please shut the doors behind them. Also make sure your pet has a tag with your phone number on it just in case they do make a run for it.
- Fireworks are super loud and can be very scary. If your pet is anxiety driven by the sounds, secure them in a dark, quiet room. Try a thunder shirt . The snugness of the shirt can make them feel more at ease. If they are really anxious, you may want to contact your veterinarian and see what he or she recommends.
- Make sure your pet gets a lot of exercise before the party and fireworks begin. Take them for a long walk to let them stretch their legs and do their business. This will ensure that they don’t have to go in the middle of the noisy fireworks.
GENERAL PARTY SAFETY
- SPF, SPF, SPF! I leave sunscreen out on the patio counter for anyone to take as they need. It is so important to apply, then reapply every hour at least.
- If you have a pool, make sure that all guests know how to swim. Parents of children that don’t yet know how to either get themselves to the edge or stairs should they accidentally fall in the pool, should be diligent of their children’s whereabouts. It may be in your best interest, should you have young ones attending the party, to hire a lifeguard. The amount it would cost for an hour or two, is less than the loss of a life.
- Watch your guests’ alcohol consumption. Yes, it’s a party and everyone wants to relax and let loose a bit. Take keys from people that you think may have enjoyed the punch a bit too much, and call them an uber or cab. Offer bottled water to those that may have lost in that last beer pong game. These are just examples, but in all seriousness, you are responsible for the guests.
4th of july safety tips
OK, I am stepping off my soapbox now! Please have a super safe and fun 4th of July!