While the heat of summer starts to disappear, the beauty of autumn starts to emerge in multiple ways. The leave start to turn dazzling colors, you finally get to enjoy your favorite apple and pumpkin-flavored treats again, and most importantly–football and tailgating season is underway! Whether you’re tailgating right next to the stadium or hosting your own football party from your backyard, it’s important to be smart and safe to ensure everyone has a good time. Follow these tips below to have the safest, smartest and most enjoyable tailgating season ever!
Don’t Drink and Drive
According to the US Department of Transportation, three people are killed in alcohol-related crashes once every two hours. While we understand you want to have a good time, it’s not worth your life. Be sure to have a designated driver for after the game or tailgate. Your fellow passengers and football fans will thank you for it!
Respect Food Temperatures
When you’re packing up the morning of the tailgate, pack the cooler last to ensure your food stays cold for as long as possible. If you are packing any meat such as burgers, chicken or steak, be sure to keep them separated from ready-to-eat food like sandwiches. It’s also wise to bring a separate cooler for your drinks; if you open the cooler with the food in it frequently, you could make the cooler’s temperature warmer than it needs to be.
Pack Plenty of Ice
You can never have enough when it comes to tailgating! Ice can serve multiple tailgating purposes. Not only will it help keep your food and beverages cold, but it can also be used to put out grill flames and uncontrolled flames. If you are tailgating in late August or early September, you may be in an area where the summer heat doesn’t die down for a few more weeks. Use the ice to cool yourself off to keep the party going.
If you are planning on grilling (what’s a tailgate without grilling?), be sure to bring a fire extinguisher and first aid kit in case of emergencies. Make sure you have a sturdy grill that doesn’t wobble and never grill in or on your vehicle. After all the grilled food has been served, it’s crucial you turn off your grill, put out the flames and give it some time to cool off before storing in your vehicle. Finally, never leave your grill unattended while cooking, even for a moment! It may be tempting to visit other fans three aisles down, but not at the risk of setting your car or your neighbor’s car on fire. The safety rules that apply for backyard grilling are even more important in a stadium parking lot due of the high density of people.
Check Around Your Car Before You Leave
After the 4th quarter, don’t be so quick to beat the crowd out of the parking lot. Unlike many of the pleasurable traditions tailgating brings, littering is one of the more popular vices that come out of the fans. Broken glass bottles, plastic silverware and other tailgating items are dropped on the ground all day long, and some of them may have rolled under your car or on the path you’ll be driving on. Don’t risk puncturing a tire on your way out of the game; take a few minutes to check around your vehicle before exiting the tailgating scene.
You’ve been patient these past nine months for this time of year; don’t ruin these good times festive by being unsafe. Follow our fool-proof tips in tailgating safety and you and other fans will enjoy a fun-filled day of pre-game partying to put any fan in the football spirit.