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There’s nothing quite like cooking out on the grill during the summer. However, grills can pose a danger if they are improperly used. The following are some quick safety tips to keep you and your family safer this summer.
#1 – Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this! It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can potentially erupt.
#2 – Leave a grill unattended. A fires doubles in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
#3 – Overload your grill with food. This especially applies to fatty meats. If too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up, which could light nearby things on fire.
#4 – Use a grill indoors. Grills are a fire hazard, and they also release carbon monoxide. Never use a grill indoors- no matter how small it may be!
#5 – Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. The farther, the better. Avoid using your grill under wooden overhangs, eaves, or near deck railings. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
#6 – Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, it can provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.
#7 – Check for gas leaks. To check, make a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rub it 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.
#8 – Keep the area around your grill clear. This includes patio decor, children, and pets.
#9 – 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. The bonus of this tip is that water won’t harm your food, so dinner won’t be ruined!
#10 – Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher or don’t know how to use it, keep a few boxes of baking soda nearby in the event of a grease fire. Never use water to put out a grease fire.
Finally, check out the following video for some additional grilling safety tips:
*These tips were compiled using data from ABC and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
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