The Top 7 Grilling Safety Tips for You and Your Family
1. Keep Your Grill Clean
Flare-ups are one of the most dangerous things that can happen when you grill. Dripping fat from cooking meat is a major cause of flare-ups. However, built-up grease on the grates or sides of the grill can also cause flames to flare up at unexpected times. Before you grill, take a few minutes to clean up your grill. Then, every time you finish grilling, make sure to clean the grill after it cools down before putting it away. Having a clean grill is one of the most important grilling safety tips.
2. Keep Unnecessary Items Away from the Fire
A lot of people make the mistake of tucking the grill into a corner on their porch or deck. The problem is, if the grill flares up, you may find your patio furniture, umbrella, or hanging plants catching on fire. You should place the grill a minimum of 10 feet away from the house and anything flammable. If you need extra room for cooking and serving, consider getting a metal or plastic table to sit nearby.
3. Have Water On Hand
No matter how much you plan, you are likely going to get minor flare-ups every time you grill meat. A quick spritz of water can keep those flares to a minimum. Fill a spray bottle full of water and keep it within arm’s reach at all times.
4. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Close
Whether you are grilling with gas or charcoal, you are dealing with fire. If your grill catches on fire, you want to be able to stop it from spreading as quickly as possible. Keeping an ABC fire extinguisher close is your best plan. It should be close enough to grab within one to two steps. Get familiar with the operating instructions of the extinguisher before you start grilling and always keep it nearby when the grill is fired up.
5. Never Leave a Grill Unattended
Flare-ups can happen at any time, so you should stay by the grill at all times to extinguish them as needed. Also, you don’t want children to have access to the grill area without an adult present. Innocent curiosity can lead to severe burns. Even a few moments of distraction can be disastrous. Always try to grill with another adult around who can watch the children and fetch forgotten items for the grill master. It’s also a good idea to keep the grill area a pet-free zone to avoid potential accidents.
6. Never Use a Grill in an Enclosed Structure
Grills can be very dangerous and should not be used inside of structures, including carports, covered porches, and covered patios. First, flare-ups can go quite high, catching walls and ceilings on fire. Second, fires put off carbon monoxide gas. That gas is deadly for humans and pets alike. Only use your grill in an open-air setting.
7. Turn Off the Gas or Extinguish the Ashes
Before you leave the grill, make sure you extinguish the fire completely. On a gas grill, turn off the fuel and turn off the knob. The fire should extinguish almost instantly. With a charcoal grill, make sure there are no remaining embers burning. Once cool, dispose of ashes in a fireproof container.
These grilling safety tips are important to keep in mind every time you host a backyard cookout. Taking a bit of time to stay safe will reduce the chances of an accident happening on your property. For more on keeping your home safe, check out our Fire Safety Tips for Your Home blog!