Summer outdoor entertaining season is here – the perfect time for celebrations and backyard barbeques. But before the festivities begin, here are some safety tips and precautions to follow to prevent any potential injuries to family and guests while entertaining in your yard and other outdoor entertaining spaces.
Limit any trip and fall hazards on walkways, stairs, and in other areas of your yard.
- Make sure that stairs or steps are secure and in good condition.
- Check sidewalks and walkways for uneven pavement.
- Check wood deck stairs for signs of rotting or splintered wood.
- Be sure that deck and patio handrails are secure.
- Remove potential tripping hazards such as garden hoses or yard equipment and remove fallen branches. Fill in any holes in the yard.
- Make sure there is adequate lighting on stairs and outdoor walkways at night.
Follow fire safety precautions when using grills or fire pits.
- Make sure gas or charcoal grills are in good condition. Check for leaks or blockages before operating gas or propane grills.
- Keep children and pets away from grills.
- Never use a flammable liquid to light a fire.
- Don’t wear loose or flammable clothing near a fire pit or when grilling.
- When using a firepit, keep a metal bucket of water or a garden hose nearby.
- Do not let children near the firepit without adult supervision. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the firepit.
- Use caution when using oil lamps or torches for bug control. Keep children and pets away.
Practice safety tips for backyard equipment
- Make sure that swing sets or backyard play equipment is safe to use and in good condition. Check for loose screws or sharp edges. Swing sets should have soft landing areas.
- Ensure children are using equipment with adult supervision.
- If using tents or umbrellas, make sure they are safely installed and properly secured in case of wind.
Follow Safe Food Practices
- When serving food, do not leave food out at room temperature for longer than two hours, as per the US Department of Agriculture and Food Safety.gov.
- Keep cold food cold with ice or freezer packs.
- When handling meat, be sure not to cross contaminate with other foods.
- Make sure cooks or others preparing food wash their hands with soap before touching food or ingredients.
- When grilling meats and poultry, be sure to use a food thermometer to ensure they are cooked to the right temperature to prevent food poisoning.