Grilling Safety Tips

Grilling outside can be fun for all as long as we are mindful of the risks and dangers associated with the activity.  Be sure you are taking the right precautions for you and your family as outlined here.

Wendy Light

Peak grilling season is here, and for fans of summer there is nothing like grilling outside with family and friends. Great food, drink, and fun are associated with grilling, however, so are injuries and fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association 7,000 people are injured each year while grilling. Moreover, Fire

Departments respond to more than 8,000 fires annually caused by grilling. And, a sobering fact is that as many as 20 people die each year from accidents associated with these activities.

Both Propane and Charcoal are staples for our outdoor grilling. And, to promote safety, we offer the following tips to make sure your grilling experience is positive:

• Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your home. The grill should be placed well away from deck railings, carports, shrubs, bushes, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

• Keep decorations such as hanging baskets, pillows, umbrellas, furniture away from your grilling area. These materials burn fast and hot.

• Keep children and pets away from your grilling area.

• Never leave your grill unattended. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.

• Never grill indoors; this includes your garage. Grills release carbon monoxide, a deadly colorless, odorless gas. This gas needs to be vented outdoors or it can kill you, your family and pets.

• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. Grease is a major source of flare ups.

• Open the lid of your grill before turning on the gas or lighting your grill. Never turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed.

• Check for gas leaks before using your gas grill, check the connection between the propane cylinder and the fuel line to be sure it is working properly and not leaking. To do this make a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that’s a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call 911.

• If you use a starter fluid for your charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Outdoor grilling with propane and charcoal is a wonderful way to celebrate summer with family and friends. Whether your grilling activity is an elaborate affair for a few dozen friends and relatives or a simple cook-out for a few, a little planning will help prevent a fire or injury from occurring. Be mindful of these grilling safety tips as well as keep a spray bottle of water handy to control minor flare-ups.

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