With Independence Day comes fireworks, cookouts, games, and laughter. But there are also a lot of hidden and unexpected dangers. We want you to celebrate the holiday with gusto, but we also want you to be safe.
Safely Clean the Grill
It’s your outdoor kitchen, and should be treated as such. You wouldn’t cook dinner on a dirty pan, so don’t do it on a dirty grill. At the same time, be safe about your cleaning methods. Skip the wire grill brush, as it has caused numerous injuries and there are much safer ways to clean your grill. Small bits of wire come out of the brush and get into your food, lodging in your throat, intestines, and other parts of your digestive system. Try one of the alternatives below.
Wooden Grill Scraper: The wooden grill scraper is a fabulous choice because it does a great job of cleaning the grill without any worry about particles coming off the scraper. On top of that, the wood eventually curves to the shape of your grate, so it’s easier to clean the grill. Maintain the scraper by rubbing it will mineral oil every now and then.
Onion: Who has a cookout without using onions, anyhow? Slice an onion in half and rub it along the hot grate of the grill. Hold the onion in place with a barbecue fork so you don’t burn your hand while you’re cleaning the grill.
Food safety is about more than just cleaning the grill and the food. We sometimes get the food ready and then leave it out for people to snack on at will, but this is dangerous. You can reduce the chance of any kind of bacterial contamination by using the tips below.
Once the food is cooked, keep it hot. To do this, fill a disposable pan with broth and put it on the top grate. As the meat is cooked, place it in the broth. The broth will be hot, so it will keep your meat hot, but it will also prevent it from drying out.
Keep a separate cooler for beverages. You’ll need to keep cold foods cold by putting them on ice or in a cooler. But, people are going to be getting cold drinks too. You don’t want your cold food to get warm because of frequent opening of the cooler, so keep your beverages in a cooler all their own.
There are two main groups of people who get injured while setting off fireworks. Those people are children and adults who for whatever reason, be it alcohol consumption or general carelessness, just don’t give fireworks the respect they deserve.
Designate a firework zone. Ideally, the zone will be sandy and have a water hose and water-filled buckets nearby. No one is allowed in the zone except the person who is responsible enough to manage the fireworks… including other adults.
Set the children up with some VIP seating. They should be close enough to get a great view of the show, but far enough away that there are adults between them and the firework zone. If possible, provide some special seating for them so that they feel as if they are in the coolest situation possible, and less likely to leave it. Assign at least one adult to monitor the children.
If the children use sparklers, make sure they are sitting (so they aren’t running around), supervised and if possible, have a piece of cardboard or something similar at the bottom of the sparkler to avoid getting burnt by sparks.
Whether you celebrate on the actual fourth or over the weekend, we want to wish you all a happy Independence Day, with safety in mind!