A Recipe for Safer Summer Barbecues
Safety Center

A Recipe for Safer Summer Barbecues

July is the peak month for grill fires. Whether you're using gas or charcoal, here are 10 steps to help ensure a safer summer of outdoor cooking:

  1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Only grill in well-ventilated spaces and avoid doing it in or under attachments like carports, garages, and porches.

  2. Create a safety zone around your grill. Pets and children should stay at least three feet away from the grill.

  3. Check for gas leaks. If your gas grill has a leak, turn off the gas tank and have the grill checked by a professional.

  4. Open your gas grill lid before lighting. Gas build-up could create a fireball effect when you open the lid after lighting the grill.

  5. For charcoal grills, use only approved starter fluid. Never use gasoline. Also, never add any fluid once the fire is started.

  6. Don't leave your grill unattended. Prep your food ahead of time. If you do have to leave the grill, shut it off, or ask another adult to watch it for you.

  7. Have a fire extinguisher nearby. Be sure it's fully charged and you know how to use it. Small fires can spread quickly. In the event of a fire, get your family to safety and don't hesitate to call the fire department.

  8. Make sure the grill controls and gas valve are off when you're done. Take the time to eliminate a potentially dangerous safety issue.

  9. Clean your gas or charcoal grill after each use. Grease is a major source of flare-ups.

  10. Let charcoals completely cool. Once cool, dispose in a metal container and wet them down.

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References:

  1. Top Causes of Fire www.nfpa.org
  2. Grilling and Safety Insurance www.iii.org
  3. Grilling Fire Safety www.usfa.fema.gov