Whether you’re tailgating in your own driveway or out and about on game day, everyone needs to be prepared for dangerous and disastrous hiccups. The following are some things to keep in mind, some supplies to always have on hand and simply good practices for safe and successful tailgating in Cleveland.
1. Grilling: Be prepared by brushing up on your grilling safety tips here. Remember to grill a safe distance from your home or vehicle and not to let children play near the fire hazard. Keep your food and especially meats properly stored until grill time and be sure to cook them at appropriate temperatures. Always have a fire extinguisher or a large amount of water on hand as well as a first-aid kit in case something goes wrong during your celebration.
2. Surrounding Safety: Keep an eye on all of your belongings and be very aware of your surroundings. Although Clevelanders are typically friendly, you can’t trust everyone. It is particularly important to be alert if you’re alone and heading to a tailgate party, but also very important when you’re tailgating in general. Tailgating can be a dangerous activity if you’re not paying attention. Some parties are held in parking lots or garages, which make a perfect location for someone looking to do you wrong. Be aware of the potential risks you face, such as theft, abduction, assault and vandalism. Be conscious of all exit routes and be sure to fully charge your cell phone before heading out to party.
3. Driving: One of the main dangers when tailgating is yourself. Be sure to designate a driver or be a responsible DD yourself, so no one gets hurt, stuck with fines or worse. Be very patient when leaving your party if you are downtown. Cleveland roads get easily congested and many fans can be unruly. Watch for erratic behavior behind the wheel as well as on foot. On the same note, be aware of how much you and your friends drink. You wouldn’t want to miss a big Brownies touchdown due to one too many brews.
4. Health: Not only can ill-prepared foods risk your health, but the weather can as well. Be completely prepared for anything to happen, rain or snow. You are tailgating in Cleveland, after all. The Browns may not wear parkas, but don’t be afraid to break yours out. A simple cold can wreak havoc on your body and become much more than what you bargained for when celebrating your Browns fandom.
5. Children: Be aware of all children around you. Whether they came with you or not, children are bound to be present at tailgate parties and games. How are football fans supposed to learn the ropes otherwise? This outing is a huge highlight for them and it is important that they don’t get hurt and the adults around them don’t either. Be aware of your surroundings at all times; don’t just use caution for yourself, be sure to personally monitor yourself and the dangers that the children present may face.
And finally, always have fun! These cautionary tips shouldn’t make for a boring tailgate party. There are plenty of ways to be safe and have a good time as well. So don your best brown and orange and have a great Sunday!
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Kaitlin Dershaw is an Ohio native with a distinct love for Cleveland. She enjoys making new discoveries from tasty places to eat and drink, to perfectly unique live music venues. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.