On Feb. 3, the Los Angeles Rams will face the New England Patriots in the 2019 Super Bowl LIII. Millions of Americans will get together to root against the Patriots — ahem, I mean, to watch the game!

Your position in this game is “Safety” at all times! If you’re hosting or attending a Super Bowl party, take a few minutes to review some safety tips. After all, as first responders, we know all too well that “fun and games” can quickly become anything but.

Did you know that DUI arrests rival major holidays on Super Bowl Sunday? That domestic violence calls significantly increase on Super Bowl Sunday? Proper planning and using common sense will make you a Super Bowl Champ!

Here’s a good playbook to start with:


Keep that “tight end” looking just that by adding healthy snacks to your menu. Super Bowl parties are known for decadent food, but you’d be surprised how popular healthier options can be. You don’t need to serve up wheat grass and broccoli, but considering adding a plate of fresh veggies with some low-fat dips, or swapping out the five-meat delivery pizza with one you make on a whole-grain crust. Let’s avoid that “wide receiver” if possible!

Use good clock management. Food safety is an issue for any party, and the Super Bowl is no different. Follow food safety guidelines to prevent illness. Make sure meat is cooked thoroughly, food preparation surfaces are kept clean and dry to prevent cross-contamination, and food containing eggs or dairy is either promptly consumed or refrigerated. Remember: Food left sitting at room temperature for more than 2 hours should be discarded.

If you’re grilling, make sure your fire extinguisher is not underinflated and keep it nearby while fully charged. Keep the grid iron and the grill away from combustibles.

Avoid alcohol-related penalties. It’s best to limit alcohol intake, but even more important is designating a non-drinking driver or securing an alternative mode of transportation. If the party is at your place, be a good team captain and ensure everyone has a safe ride home. A penalty like that could cost you your game and more!

Watch out for “defenseless players.” What’s fun and exciting to you can be boring to kids and downright scary to nervous dogs or cats. If you’re hosting a celebration, make the extra effort to have activities and a safe play area for children and, if possible, a quiet area for pets.

Don’t be an “offensive lineman.” Team allegiances can run strong. Add in some adult beverages and a bad play call or two, and before you know it revelers can be at each other’s throats. Be on your best game. Show good sportsmanship conduct and keep the attitude in check — and make sure others do, too. You’ll avoid getting sacked!

Above all, have fun, be safe and avoid any “unnecessary roughness” by using common sense. And don’t forget to enjoy the halftime show and those great commercials!

Go Los Angeles!

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna