Everyone loves to get outside and grill once the weather turns nice! Whether your taste – and budget – turn to steak or to hot dogs or even to tofu pups, it’s important to follow safe grilling guidelines to avoid a fire or injury.
First: If you’re using a gas grill, be sure to check your gas lines. One of the most common causes of grilling fires is leaking gas from a hole or break in the line.
Check for sharp curves or bends in the line and for cracking or brittleness. One good way to spot leaks is to make some soapy water using dish detergent and use a sponge to rub it onto the line and connectors. If you see bubbles, you have a leak!
Second: Only grill in well-ventilated OUTDOOR areas. Never inside a building, camper, or vehicle. Aside from the fire risk, carbon monoxide poisoning is a real danger. And you won’t know you’ve been affected until the EMTs are reviving you or your family!
Third: Be very careful with combustible material and fluids. Be sure to keep the hot grill away from anything that could catch fire, such as wood piles, gas cans, weeds and tall grass, and other items. If you use charcoal and lighter fluid, keep the lighter fluid bottle capped and well away from the hot grill. And never, ever (please!) put lighter fluid on hot coals! At the least, you will have to draw your eyebrows on for several weeks. Finally, never use gasoline or kerosene to help start a fire.
Fourth: Keep your grill clean. Grease fires are another real danger, and that burned-on char can increase your risk of cancer if you eat it.
Finally: Make sure to have a safe zone around the grill. That means no children or pets close by. Set up your grill at least ten feet from any building.
Bonus Tip: Keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of any accidents.