3. Keep a fire extinguisher and first aid kit on hand
You never think it will happen to you. After all, you’re a grill master that’s been tailgating for decades. But even veteran tailgaters need to be prepared for the worst. When you’re grilling, make sure you have a fire extinguisher in close proximity (not packed in your truck). If you don’t need it, another tailgater might.
If you’re grilling with coals, be sure to douse them with water and let them cool before placing them in a container to discard or pack in your vehicle. And be sure the container is one designed to store coals, not a random box or bag you found in the trunk.
Packing a first aid kit is always a good idea. You never know when a friendly game of Frisbee or a sharp knife might lead to a cut or injury.
4. When in doubt, toss it out
Make “when in doubt, toss it out” your tailgating mantra. We all hate throwing away food, but as you wrap up your tailgating extravaganza, it’s time to throw away perishable foods that have been left out for more than an hour in hot temperatures or more than two hours in moderates conditions.
5. Count on a designated driver
Let’s face it, tailgaters are notorious for having too much to drink. If your tailgating party includes alcohol, be sure to have one or more DDs. Offer to buy the DD non alcoholic drinks during the game and maybe pitch in for a few snacks to say thanks for their duty. Always offer your tailgating companions non alcoholic choices, including bottled water. Encourage drinking partygoers to have plenty to eat and drink a non alcoholic beverage in between drinking alcoholic ones.
6. Party in numbers
Tailgating and socializing are nearly synonymous, but avoid gallivanting through crowds of rowdy tailgaters alone. Because alcohol impairs decision making, it’s especially important to sick with a buddy if you have been consuming alcohol. If you do head off on your own, make sure your friends know where you’re going and when you plan to be back.