Nothing says summer like a nice backyard barbecue. It’s great to get together with friends and family to share some grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, or even fish and vegetables if you’re feeling creative. But grilling can be dangerous if you don’t have the knowledge and precautions to operate the grill safely. In fact, there were over 16,000 grilling-related injuries reported in 2014. July is the peak month of the year for grilling injuries. Our grilling safety guide will help you have a delicious – and safe – summer cookout.
Fire is the greatest danger when grilling. Gas grills were involved in the vast majority of grilling fires, but this may be partially because they are much more popular than charcoal or other types of grills.
Follow these tips to avoid burns and possible structure fires.
Read the Manual
Every grill is different. Make sure you read your owner’s manual to learn how your particular grill works. Take not of all instructions and safety precautions and proceed accordingly.
It is never safe to use your grill indoors. Keep yourself and your family safe by using your grill only outdoors.
Placement is Key
Position your grill for maximum safety. Your grill should be at least ten feet from your house. Make sure the area around the grill is well ventilated, and keep all flammable objects several feet away. Your grill should be stable. Be sure that the area is flat and the grill is secured so that it won’t tip over.
Use the Right Equipment
Use long-handled grilling utensils such as forks and tongs when working on the grill to avoid burns on the arms and hands. Also make sure to wear clothing that will not catch fire easily. Consider also investing in a flame-retardant pad to go underneath your grill.
Clean Your Grill
It is important that you clean your grill thoroughly after every use. If grease and fat build up on the grill, it can provide more fuel for a fire that can easily get out of control.
Check the Gas Line
Breaks in the gas line are another major cause of grilling fires. Make sure to check your lines regularly and replace them if necessary.
Have a Fire Extinguisher
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy whenever you grill. Keep it close by so that you can reach it quickly in the event of a fire. Also make sure that you know how to use it. The time to learn is not when there is already and active fire that needs your attention.
Practice Good Grilling Technique
Each time you grill, make sure to do it properly to ensure your safety and that of your family.
- Never turn the gas on with the grill lid closed. This can lead to a buildup of gas that could cause a dangerous fireball when you open the lid.
- Never leave the grill unattended. It only takes a few moments for a fire to start and get out of control. Always have a capable adult watching the grill when it is in use.
- Don’t overload the grill. Putting too much food on the grill at once can cause fires.
- Don’t move or handle a hot grill. Your grill can stay hot for up to an hour after use. Don’t try to move it, and don’t touch it with your bare hands.
Stay safe and happy grilling! Don’t forget to like and share!