As summer arrives, many homeowners clean their grills to prepare for outdoor cooking and backyard barbecues. Grilling is a beloved pastime, but it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a memorable and incident-free experience. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or just getting started, these grilling safety tips will help you stay safe and keep your family and property from harm.
Practice Safety While Grilling This Summer
Location and Setup
Choose a safe location for your grill, verifying it is placed on a stable and non-flammable surface. Never install a grill beneath overhanging branches or awnings, near structures, or on an enclosed porch. If using a gas grill, check the gas connections for leaks and replace damaged components before using the appliance.
Proper Lighting is Essential for Grilling Safety
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lighting your grill. If using a charcoal grill, use a charcoal starter and avoid lighter fluid, which can cause flare-ups. For a gas grill, open the lid before lighting and use the igniter button or a long-handled lighter to ignite the burners. Keep your face and body away from the grill when lighting.
Never leave the grill unattended while it’s in use. Assign someone to be in charge to keep a close eye on the cooking process. Having a responsible adult present ensures issues can be addressed promptly and prevents accidents from occurring.
Keep a Safe Distance
Verify there is a safe distance between the grill and flammable objects or structures. Teach children and pets to stay at least five feet from the grill to prevent accidental contact and burns. Create a designated “safe zone” around the grill to ensure everyone understands the boundaries.
Proper Attire for Grilling Safety
Wear appropriate clothing while using the grill, such as short sleeves or tight-fitting sleeves, to avoid clothing catching fire. Tie apron strings and long hair back. Use heat-resistant grilling gloves or mitts to protect your hands and arms when handling hot utensils, grill grates, or charcoal.
Utensils for Grilling Safety
Long-handled grilling tools allow you to keep a safe distance from the heat. You can prevent burns and maneuver food without getting too close to the flames. To prevent damage, don’t use metal utensils on non-stick surfaces.
Safe Food Handling
Practice proper food safety when grilling to avoid foodborne illnesses. Keep raw and cooked foods separate, use separate plates and utensils for raw and prepared meats, and always use a food thermometer to verify meats are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
Regularly clean the grill to prevent the buildup of grease, which can lead to flare-ups and fires. Remove excess grease from the drip pan and clean the grill grates after each use. Dispose of grease properly in a designated container.
Have a fire extinguisher nearby, and make sure you know how to use it properly. Familiarize yourself with the different types of fires (grease, electrical, etc.) and the appropriate extinguisher for each type. In case of a fire, attempt to put it out with an extinguisher, but have an adult ready to call emergency services if needed.
Proper Shutdown is Essential for Grilling Safety
After grilling, turn off the burners or extinguish the charcoal properly. Allow the grill to cool down before covering it or moving it to a safe storage area. Double-check to verify gas connections are closed tightly.
By following these grilling safety tips, you can enjoy delicious meals and memorable moments with friends and family while keeping everyone safe. Prioritize safety, be vigilant, and savor the summer and your grilling adventures.