IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Fourth of July tips for barbecue, food and swimming pool safety

In a live demonstration, Jeff Rossen offers Fourth of July safety tips for barbecuing, having food outdoors, and enjoying the swimming pool.
/ Source: TODAY

On the eve of the Fourth of July weekend, TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen presented TODAY viewers with a live demonstration of safety tips for three summer holiday activities: barbecuing with a propane grill, having food outside, and using swimming pools.

Barbecue grilling:

Chris Hansen, fire marshal with the Southampton, New York, fire department, helped Rossen demonstrate the safe way to use a propane barbecue grill.

  1. Lift the lid of the grill before you turn the gas valve on — then hit the igniter button.
  2. If the grill doesn’t light, don’t keep hitting the button — turn the gas off, let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes, and then start over.
  3. Before grilling, inspect your tank and hose for leaks by spraying it down with a soapy water mixture and turning on the valve. If you see air bubbles, there’s a leak that needs to be fixed.

Watch: Your propane grill could be a ticking time bomb.

Food outdoors:

  1. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food can safely sit out unrefrigerated for only 2 hours.
  2. If the temperature outside is 90 degrees or above, food can sit out there safely only 1 hour. After that, throw it away.

Pool safety:

Jeff Thompson, assistant chief of lifeguards in East Hampton, New York, helped Rossen demonstrate safety practices for swimming pools:

  1. Assign someone specific to watch the pool. That person must leave their cellphone indoors, and not eat; their eyes need to be on the pool the entire time. (You can assign a rotating schedule of parents so no one has to do it the entire time.)
  2. Pool alarms can be useful. Rossen showed two kinds: An alarm you can mount on the side of your pool to alert you if someone (especially a child) jumps in, and wrist band alarms you can put on your kids that will also sound an alarm if the band gets wet in the pool.

To suggest a topic for an upcoming investigation, visit the Rossen Reports Facebook page.