Grilling Safety Tips

Outdoor grill with foods cooking on it - vegetables and seafood - 7/02/2019

With summer barbecues and cookouts in full swing, many families are preparing to grill foods for weekends and holidays. Grilling can be a healthy, delicious way to prepare vegetables, seafood and meat but this method can also come with hazards and concerns. Follow these grilling safety tips to have healthy and safe outdoor gatherings this summer.  

1. Be mindful of the location of your grill. It should be at least 10 feet away from your home. The farther it is from your house, garage, carport and porches, the better off you’ll be in preventing a fire to a structure. This includes gas and charcoal grills. Do not put other yard items or outdoor decorations near the grill.

2. Clean your grill regularly, before and after each use. Do not allow grease and fat to build up on a grill. That will provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a main source for flare ups.  

3. Watch your grill at all times. Do not leave it unattended. A fire can occur at any moment and double in size in minutes. Prep your foods and have them next to you or near you so you can grab and cook without having to go inside. If you do need to go inside, find another family member or friend to keep an eye on your grill.

4. Allow space for your food to cook on the grill. Don’t overload the grill with too many foods, especially fatty meats that can drip fat. These can cause flames.

5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy and next to the grill. By doing this, you have an immediate response tool that can assist in putting out a fire. Water won’t harm the food either if a sudden fire or flame burst does occur.

6. Have a fire extinguisher close by if the spray bottle of water is not enough. If your grill suddenly gets out of hand, and the spray bottle of water isn’t helping, then grab a fire extinguisher nearby. Be sure you know how to use it. If you do not or if it does not work, then call 911 and let an expert fight the fire.

7. When it comes to a gas grill, check for leaks often and don’t turn on the gas with the lid on. You can check for leaks by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the connections and hose. If after turning it on you see any soap bubbles, that’s a sign that there could be tiny holes causing a leak or that the connection is not tight enough. In addition, don’t turn the gas on with the lid closed as it could cause gas to build up inside the grill and a possible fireball to burst as you open the lid.

Family cookouts make great summer memories. Just remember these grilling safety tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe as you prepare and cook foods.