Break out the barbecue equipment because summer is finally here! The summer break and hotter weather rings in the backyard cookout season. This season brings family and friends together to share a memorable experience over a good home cooked meal.
While most cookouts are intended to provide a relaxing and entertaining environment, there are many safety precautions that should be followed before and during the festivities. Being prepared will help you handle dangers that may occur.
A common cause for concern at most cookouts is the use of a grill. While it may seem harmless to operate, grilling can often lead to fires and injuries. Here are some important steps to follow when firing up the grill:
Inspect Your Equipment – Cracks in gas lines can lead to dangerous gas leaks and potential flare-ups.
Accelerants – When operating charcoal grills, use only lighter fluid to ignite the coals and use only small amounts when a flame is present.
Location – Be sure to place grill on a flat area away from flammable objects and living quarters.
Company (Guests) – Maintain a buffer space around the grill, in order to avoid any hazardous injuries from the heat generated.
When working with food, especially with meats and other proteins, store them properly to keep them from spoiling. While bacteria can still form in colder temperatures, it takes longer for it to grow and spread. The same goes for other potential side items like baked beans and potato salad, as they should never be stored outside for an extended period of time.
As host of a backyard cookout, the guests who arrive become a part of your responsibility. Guests need to be given adequate amounts of hydration, especially if they are outside for a long period of time. Dehydration and potentially heat stroke can happen quickly for some people and they may not be aware of how it happens. Make sure you know about guest’s food allergies before you make food preparations.
Lastly, alcohol consumption is highly prevalent at many backyard events. Consuming a safe and moderate level of alcohol is fine, but when used inappropriately, it can be disastrous. Make sure to not let others drink and drive by providing them a place to stay overnight or use ride sharing apps.
Cookouts are designed to provide a fun atmosphere to be shared with family and friends. By following these guidelines, hopefully you can have a safe and fun backyard event that will lead to great memories and many more in the future.
Remember if you or a family member gets injured while attending a cookout and need legal representation then contact Miller & Wynn. Our locally-based attorneys have decades of experience. Call us at 770-942-2720 or visit www.MillerWynnLaw.com.