We’re right in the middle of the grilling season, which is one of America’s favorite summer pastimes. Grilling is a great opportunity to gather your family and friends and spend some quality time together outdoors. Learn how to grill without putting people or your property at risk. There are thousands of injuries caused every year by grilling accidents. To keep everyone safe at a cookout, follow these grill safety tips.
Proper Location is the Key for Grill Safety
Firing up your grill near the house or in the shade on a hot day may seem convenient. However, the farther your grill is from any structure, tree, or plant, the better. Grilling under low awnings or in a closed space doesn’t just pose a fire hazard, it can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
The grilling area should be clear of dry shrubs, leaves, or anything else that can be ignited by heat from the grill. Also, make sure that the grill is set up on a level surface. A wobbly and unstable grill can more easily tip over and cause a fire, injuries, and damage to your property.
Learn How to Use the Grill
Most people think that using the grill doesn’t require any special knowledge. While most modern grills are simple to use, your grill came with a manual for a reason. Read the instructions carefully before using it, especially the part about grill safety precautions.
An important thing to know is to never ignite a gas grill while the lid is closed. A build-up of gas can cause an explosion. If you’re using a charcoal grill, don’t use too much charcoal because it can cause flare-ups.
Perform Regular Inspections and Keep Your Grill Clean
Gas leaks can cause serious accidents. Inspect your grill for gas leaks before and during the grilling season. The easiest way to do this is by applying a dish soap and water solution to the gas tank hose. When you turn on the gas, you’ll see bubbles if you have a leak. The smell of gas or the inability to light the grill are also signs of a propane leak.
Grease buildup on the grates and beneath them poses a hazard. The grill may flare up and cause serious injuries. An additional benefit of regular cleaning is that your food will taste better when prepared on a clean grill.
Always be Alert for Grill Safety
Cookouts are a time for relaxing, but always keep a close eye on the grill. Dripping grease or a flare-up can start a grill fire in a matter of seconds, so never leave the grill unattended. If you have to step away from it, put another trustworthy person in charge.
In case a fire happens, be prepared to put it out quickly. Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a serious fire. If a fire is caused by grease, the best way to put it out is with baking soda or sand.