Tips for a Fumble-Free Super Bowl Party
Five smart plays to make for a safer Super Bowl Sunday
Super Bowl Sunday rivals New Year’s Eve as an occasion to gather friends and family to eat, drink and watch a ball drop on the big screen. As you plan the menu and ready the house, keep these Super Bowl party tips in mind so everyone has a good time and no one gets hurt — except maybe the guy who puts all his money on the losing team.
Score one for safety
Avoid a barbecue-fire fumble. Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest grilling day of the winter, says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for UL. If you’re planning to cook up ribs or hot dogs for your party, don’t be tempted to move your grill close to your house: It needs to be at least 10 feet or more away. It isn’t safe to set up a grill under the shelter of an open garage either, warns Drengenberg. Keep a spray bottle of water handy while you tend the fire so you can douse any flare-ups. And never bring a small grill, such as a hibachi, inside: It’s both a fire hazard and a carbon monoxide hazard.
Secure the TV. Huge numbers of TVs are sold right before the Super Bowl, according to Drengenberg. That means new ones being set up and old ones being moved. “Between 37 and 40 children go to the ER each day because of furniture falling on them,” says Drengenberg. Many of those furniture items are TVs, he says. Secure your TV to the wall according to the manufacturer’s instructions or use an appropriate stand. If you’re relocating a TV, set it up on a sturdy surface and push it as far back from the edge as possible. “Keep tops of TVs clear,” adds Drengenberg. “A child reaching for a remote or toy could pull the set on top of himself.”
Kid-proof the living room and other parts of the house little visitors will be allowed in. Get down on your hands and knees and scan the floors and the areas under chairs and tables for loose items a baby or toddler could easily swallow, Drengenberg recommends. Anything small enough to fit inside an empty toilet paper roll is a choking hazard for a small child. Clear away tabletop lamps and tchotchkes that could easily be knocked over by exuberant fans (read: big kids) when their team makes a good play. Dangling power cords can also be a hazard to small fans if they pull on them causing something to fall on them.
Make the kitchen a safety zone. Turn pot handles toward the center of the stove. Tuck cords on appliances out of the way so they don’t dangle within reach of little kids or snag someone. If you leave the kitchen while the stove or oven is on, take a potholder with you, advises Drengenberg. It will remind you to go back before something burns or starts a fire.
Don’t let friends or family drink and drive. Have a game plan for making sure anyone who downs one too many gets home safely. Collect guests’ keys as they arrive and give them back only to folks who are OK to get behind the wheel. Invite anyone who’s had too much to drink to stay over, or leave the driving to a car service.