The days are long and warm, and there’s nothing like gathering friends and family for a classic cookout on the grill. Whether you’re a propane or charcoal fan, the summertime means simple but delicious food prepared on the grill. But each year, some mishaps and injuries happen around grills. Avoid injuries and focus on the time together with these grilling safety tips.
Out in the Open
Grills get hot and can occasionally throw off sparks. It’s essential to create a clear space around your grill to prevent burning anyone or starting a fire. In addition, you should always grill outdoors. Grilling indoors can seriously affect the air quality, and the heat and sparks could cause a catastrophic fire. Also, cut back vegetation like low-hanging tree limbs or large bushes near the grill. Even greenery can catch fire.
Be Prepared for Flares
Even when you take every precaution, fires can still happen. The wind can catch an ember and take it further than you realize. Be prepared for errant embers and unexpected flares with a fire extinguisher nearby. In fact, keeping it close instead of elsewhere in the home can give you the extra seconds you need to stop a fire before it gets out of control.
A Clean Grill is a Happy Grill
Although cleaning the grill might be the least fun part of the experience, it is probably the most important. Cleaning the grill removes all the material that could catch fire and flare up, sending embers out. Start each grilling season by thoroughly cleaning your grill. If you grill often, then periodic cleanings are a good idea. Finally, give it a clean before putting it away if you don’t use it during colder weather.
Gas Grill Pointers
You should always double-check the propane connection for your gas grill. A leaky tank can be dangerous, so always check for leaks by using a solution of dish soap and water around the seals. If you see bubbles, then you have a leak. Additionally, keep the grill cover open when you’re lighting the grill. Gas can fill the grill chamber quickly if the cover is closed, creating a hazard.
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Careful Charcoal Grilling
Getting charcoal going can be tricky if you’re not used to this grilling style or if the weather isn’t cooperating. Some people try to use lighter fluid to help the fire get going. But you should never try to use lighter fluid when the charcoal briquettes are already hot. In addition, take care when disposing of charcoal. There may not be active flames, but coals can still be active under the ash and cause burns.
Staying aware during grilling and respecting the risks is key to staying safe. You’ll end up with delicious food and happy friends and family when you take the time and care to stick to a safety plan. Now, get out there and have a happy grilling season!
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