When the weather is nice, most of us venture outdoors. While picnics and barbecues are a given during great weather, even the clearest of days can bring its share of problems if things don’t go according to plan. From food borne illness to fires, prepare for your next outdoor party with these helpful tips:
Check Your Deck
Is your backyard deck the hotspot for entertaining? According to the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) there’s been an increase in the number of decks that have collapsed, fallen apart, or otherwise failed. Simple upkeep can help prevent these incidents before you have a large group of friends and family over. Be sure to check your deck for the following:
- Rotting, split, or loose boards, because these could be dangerous and cause injuries if they give way to weight.
- Wriggle the railing and balusters to make sure they’re strong and sturdy.
- Investigate the handrails to check for loose or wobbly posts.
- Take a look at the ledger (the framing system that attaches the deck to your home). If the gap between the house and ledger is too wide, it may indicate the bolts need tightening.
- Check for rust, holes, and nails (screws should be used for stability).
Outdoor events present opportunities for foodborne bacteria to grow. The longer the food is left outside of a refrigerator, the higher the chance for a foodborne illness to develop. The best way to prevent these critters from crashing the party is to follow these cooking safety tips and recommendations:
- If you’re traveling to a picnic site or a friend’s, keep the cooler closed as much as possible to keep the temperature low.
- Cold foods should be stored at 40° or below (tip: pack frozen meat, so it stays cold longer).
- Make sure the containers are all sealed tightly to avoid spills that can cause cross-contamination.
Are you going to be grilling at your next event? Follow these 5 tips for safe grilling! Did you know that each year almost 9,000 home fires are caused by barbecues and grills? Fire pits and bonfires are great on cool nights, but they can turn dangerous fast. Here’s how to prevent a home fire from starting in your backyard :
- Keep the fire small and at least 10 feet away from any structure.
- Check to make sure the conditions aren’t windy and dry. The wind can blow the embers and cause a fire.
- Only set a fire in a constructed fire pit and clean the surrounding area to prevent it from spreading.
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