Grilling Safety Tips to Protect Your Property and Guests
Summer is just around the corner and many of us will have cookouts throughout the season. According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 16,600 emergency visits and 9,600 fires are related to grilling each year. Practice these grilling safety tips to avoid injuries and prevent fires.
Use Your Grill in a Safe Spot
Grills should only be used outdoors. Before lighting your grill, make certain it is away from your home and deck railing. A grill should not be used under eaves, near low hanging tree branches, or on a porch.
Keep a Close Eye on Pets and Children
When homeowners think about grilling safety tips, they often don’t realize the grill is also a risk to children and pets. About one-third of grill burns happen to children under age five, according to NFPA statistics.
Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill. Charcoal lighter fluid should be stored in a safe place out of the reach of children.
Check Your Propane Grill for Leaks
Before your first cookout of the season, inspect your propane grill for leaks. Check the entire length of the hose and both of its connection points.
You can easily find leaks by mixing dishwashing liquid with a little water. While the gas is off, run the soap solution on the entire hose and both connections. Turn on the gas. If bubbles begin to form, you have a leak. Turn off the gas. Tighten the connections as needed or replace the hose before you grill.
Operate Your Propane Grill the Right Way
These grilling safety tips are specific to propane grills. To prevent a fire, turn on a propane grill in the following order:
- Open the grill.
- Turn on the gas tank.
- Turn on the burner knobs.
- Push the ignitor button.
If the grill fails to ignite or if the flame goes out, turn off the gas. Then wait five minutes for the gas to dissipate before you try to turn the grill back on. When you are finished cooking, turn off the gas tank first. Then turn off the knobs for the burners.
Grilling Safety Tips for Charcoal Grills
Some grilling safety tips only apply to charcoal grills. No flammable liquid, including charcoal lighter fluid, should be added to the fire when it is burning. Store lighter fluid away from heat sources. Allow coals to cool completely before you throw them away in a metal container.