10 Tips for a Safe Summer Barbecue: The Do's and Dont's of Grilling
Summer is finally here! While the warm weather welcomes pool days, bonfires, and cookouts, it’s always important to keep in mind the safety hazards of your favorite summer activities. I would like to point out one in particular- grilling. It doesn’t seem dangerous, right? However, it is estimated that every year, 7,000 Americans are injured while using backyard barbecue grills, usually due to the fact that the equipment was used incorrectly.
1. Keep your grill away from your home, garage or carport, deck railings or overhanging trees and branches at all times. These factors play a huge part in accidental fires, and you may not be aware of the safety hazards that they present. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills. Also, make sure your grill is always on stable, level ground.
2. Check for gas leaks. Test your grill for a gas leak before every use with a 50/50 solution of dish soap and water. Rub the solution 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.
3. Clean your grill regularly. As you probably know, grease is a major source of fires in the home. Be sure to clean your grill thoroughly after every use to remove grease, food, and other buildup that could cause a fire.
4. Keep lighter fluids capped and a safe distance away from the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid and never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids directly to the fire. Additionally, turn off your propane tank first before turning off the knob on your grill when you are finished cooking.
5. Purchase long handed utensils like forks and tongs to help you cook meat. Long handed utensils can help you avoid splatters and burns when you are grilling. Avoid using all metal, as metal heats up quickly which can burn your hands.
6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill and know how to use it. In addition to the fire extinguisher, keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it.
7. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. Turn the gas on while your grill lid is closed causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, it can create a huge fireball explosion.
8. Leave a grill unattended. Stay near your grill at all times while it is on. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
9. Overload your grill with food. If too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire. Also, don’t try to ignite your grill immediately if it is not starting. Wait at least 5 minutes for the gas to dissipate before trying to start your grill again.
10. Use a grill indoors. Even small grills are not safe to operate indoors. Not only is it a fire hazard, but grills also release carbon monoxide, the deadly colorless, odorless gas. Carbon monoxide can be deadly if it is not vented in fresh air.
We hope you have a fun-filled summer! As always, we are Here to Help when you need us. Call us anytime at (423) 614-5552.