Millions of Americans look forward to the Memorial Day holiday to enjoy a three-day weekend and the unofficial start of summer. While some take advantage of the extra time off work or school to travel, others entertain guests at home. If you’re hosting a Memorial Day get together for your family and friends, you should keep safety in mind by following the below tips. These should help you and your guest enjoy your time together and avoid a trip to the emergency room.
Stay Safe Around the Grill
Grilling meat outdoors is a much-loved American tradition. After waiting all winter to light the grill, you are probably anxious to grill your first burger. Even if someone else does the cooking, educating yourself on standard grilling safety is everyone’s responsibility.
A hot or lit grill should never be left unattended, even for a minute. Unfortunately, that’s all it takes for a curious toddler or the family dog to investigate the grill and sustain serious burns in the process. One person should assume the task of grill master and ask someone else to take over if he or she needs to step away.
If you plan to host others at your backyard barbeque, don’t forget to check your grill before the first use of the season to make sure it can handle the demand you are about to place on it. That means cleaning any grease spills and inspecting propane fuel lines for any leaks.
When deciding where to place your grill, be certain to place it away from areas where a fire could start if the grill were to tip over or sparks began to shoot from it. It’s also best to place it away from trees, areas of high foot traffic, and external structures. Lastly, invest in a fire extinguisher if you haven’t already so you’re ready to put out a fire at a moment’s notice.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
You might be surprised at how much damage the sun can do even on a cool or overcast day. With Memorial Day being the kickoff to summer, now is a great time to purchase a tube of sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Dermatologist recommend using a sunscreen with at least 30.
In addition, consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat, cool and breathable clothing, and sunglasses the entire time you are outside. Taking these simple steps throughout the summer can help protect your skin from uncomfortable burns and potential cancer risks.
Don’t Forget Safety When Preparing and Serving Food
You would feel terrible if you gave a guest a case of food poisoning because you didn’t take proper precautions when preparing and serving your Memorial Day spread.
Before serving any hot food, make sure you have cooked them to a minimum temperature of 140 degrees. Cold food is safest when kept refrigerated. If keeping your dishes cool is not possible, you should avoid leaving any foods out and uncovered for more than one hour.
Additionally, you should always make an effort to keep food covered with a mesh cover like this once from Target. This will help you avoid insects trying to help themselves to your food and potentially spreading disease.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol to Excess
If you enjoy drinking, try to limit your intake to a beer or two during your Memorial Day weekend backyard barbeque. As consuming alcohol always comes with risks, you’ll want to be careful to ensure you stay hydrated by drinking even more water than you usually would. Make sure another responsible adult stays sober if you plan to drink.
Also, be prepared to keep an eye on your guests if you are hosting an open bar. If your guests do plan on drinking, ensure they have been set up with a designated driver or call a cab service for them to ensure they get home safely. Uber and Lyft often supply promo codes for major holidays to help you and your guest celebrate safely.
Follow These Tips All Summer Long
A safety refresher before the long Memorial Day weekend is always a good idea. We recommend you review these tips a few more times throughout the summer to ensure that Independence Day, Labor Day, and all the ordinary moments outside of holiday weekends are safe and happy ones for you and your family.