Make sure your Chicago tailgate stays safe (Credit, Douglas Boehm)

Tailgating in Chicago can be a great way to show your team spirit while taking part in a fun outdoor activity amongst friends. Whether it’s a never-miss tradition as a Bears fan or an invitation outing by a fellow Bears enthusiast, each tailgating excursion is a memorable experience. However, while the spirit of tailgating is supposed to be a fun-loving activity, there are some safety issues that can arise when partaking in it. Knowing how to stay safe while tailgating can ensure a good time is had by all and encourage further trips for tailgating at Soldier Field.

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Car Safety

With Chicago being as heavily populated as any other major city, on-the-road safety is important to take into consideration when planning a tailgating outing. The strict guidelines on tailgate parking spaces call for extra time and preparation in terms of when to head out on the road. The cash parking lots that are available to tailgaters recommend arriving in the lot at least four hours prior to kickoff. With so much competition in limited tailgating spots in the cash parking lots, it can be easy to get into a frenzy while driving to the lot. However, with Chicago weather being unpredictable in its brutal winters and sudden rainstorms, it’s important not to get too caught up in racing to your tailgate spot. Proper preparation in packing for the game and allowing for ample time to drive to the lot is the best way to limit car safety hazards that may arise.

Related: Tailgate Parking Tips For Soldier Field
Grill Safety

A huge part of tailgating is the fun in outdoor grilling and the food festivities that are eaten and shared. While grilling may be one of the entertaining aspects of tailgating, it can also be one of the most dangerous. Unsafe grilling practices can be a huge safety hazard because of propane tanks, open fires and leaking grease. When using a propane-powered grill, make sure to check nozzles to ensure there are no leaks or compromise of the tank. In order to maintain safety on your cooking methods, it’s important to keep a watchful eye. Leaving a deep fryer on high heat with the lid on can cause the contents to overflow and even explode. Also, make sure to keep a safe distance away from cooking equipment for yourself, other tailgaters and any children that may be running around.

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Related: A Rookie’s Guide To Tailgating In Chicago

Weather Safety

Chicago weather is renowned for its ferocity. It’s important to be properly prepared for any weather changes during your tailgating outing. This means stocking extra gloves, hats and scarves so you won’t be stuck out in a Chicago blizzard unprepared. Although liquor can decrease the amount of cold the body feels, there are certain conditions that are too extreme to be staved off by a few beers. Frostbite and hypothermia are real conditions that can be protected against by simply wearing weather-appropriate clothing. However, for those that are partaking in grilling, make sure to wear fingerless gloves that allow easier usability in handling tools around the grill.

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Sara Lugardo is a Korean American who thrives in writing about community news in Chicago. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on