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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.
Chris Hansen, fire marshal with the Southampton, New York, fire department, helped Rossen demonstrate the safe way to use a propane barbecue grill.
- Lift the lid of the grill before you turn the gas valve on — then hit the igniter button.
- 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.
- 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.
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food can safely sit out unrefrigerated for only 2 hours.
- If the temperature outside is 90 degrees or above, food can sit out there safely only 1 hour. After that, throw it away.
Jeff Thompson, assistant chief of lifeguards in East Hampton, New York, helped Rossen demonstrate safety practices for swimming pools:
- 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.)
- 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.