From Mother’s Day to the 4th of July, to Labor Day, the summer months are filled with days perfect for cookouts with friends and family. During all the excitement, it could be easy to forget about the grill. As we run into the summer cookout season, make sure you are following these grilling safety tips to keep your barbecue free from unexpected flare-ups!
Check the Area Above Your Grill
With common places such as porches, decks, and patios being the ideal location for operating your grill, their proximity to your house and trees can pose a risk. Make sure there are no overhanging branches, decking, roof eaves, or other flammable items that could interfere with the area above your charcoal or gas grill.
Three Feet Away for Children and Pets
Part of the fun of summer cookouts is the ability to enjoy them with the whole family – including your pets and children. Make sure your children are well-versed on safety when you are grilling and to stay at least three feet away from the grill at all times to keep your cookout accident-free. This radius helps prevent accidental contact or people interfering with the grill.
BONUS: Teach your child(ren) how to properly operate a fire extinguisher – which should always be close when grilling, to be extra prepared with fire safety at home.
Potential Gas Leaks
Seasonal use and wear and tear can take a toll on your gas tank hoses, with the potential for gas leaks. You may be able to smell the leaking propane, but you cannot see it. Before starting the grill for the first time, do a basic ‘soapy water test’ to make sure there are no leaks in your tank hose.
Mix soap and water, then apply it over the entire tank hose. Bubbles will appear if there is a leak. Contact a professional to have your grill serviced and have the leak repaired before cooking anything.
Start Your Gas Grill with the Lid Closed
Lighting your gas grill with the lid closed can cause a dangerous buildup of gas, creating a fireball. For easy prevention, simply keep your grill’s lid open when lighting it. If the flame goes out, turn the gas off, and wait five minutes before relighting.
Don’t Forget to Turn Off the Grill
We’ve all gotten distracted by the delicious food you just grilled and have forgotten to properly turn off the grill. Remember – as soon as you’re done grilling, turn off the burners and close down the propane supply.
If using a charcoal grill, shut off the air supply by closing the vents underneath.
Discard Cold Coals in a Metal Container
There’s nothing quite like the taste of a charcoal-grilled hot dog or hamburger. If you’re planning on using a charcoal grill during your BBQ, remember these two key steps for cleanup – let the coals cool down completely (this can take up to 48-hours). Follow by spraying them down with a hose to help with the cooling process. Second, throw out the cold coals in a metal container. Metal is non-combustible, for an added layer of fire prevention.
Use a Long-Handled Grilling Utensil
Grill burns are no joke! A simple way to practice grilling safety is to use utensils with a long handle to minimize the likelihood of obtaining burns.
BONUS: Use a long-handled cleaning tool after every grill use too. This helps prevent grill-related burns and fires.
Cookouts are a fun time for sharing good food with friends and family. Don’t let a grill-related fire or accident put a damper on your BBQ. Remember these simple grilling safety tips to keep spirits high and the flames low!