Flare-ups, grease fires, and propane leaks. According to the USFA grill fires on residential properties account for an average of 10 deaths, 100 injuries, and over $37 million in property damage every single year. And it can all be avoided by taking a few minutes to go over some important grilling safety tips. Better yet, Robyn Lindars, a.k.a. Grill Girl, produced a very helpful video sharing the best safety tips for both gas and charcoal grills. Take a look!
11 Grilling Safety Tips To Keep You Safe
1. Charcoal Grills vs. Gas Grills
?According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 9,000 home fires a year involve grills; Of those, 4 out of the 5 are gas grills.
2. Check Your Grill For Buildup Before Lighting
Before you can even think of adding those chicken thighs to the grill, open the cold grill and inspect it. If the grill is dirty, clean it before proceeding. Fat build-up is a large fire hazard and can cause dangerous flare-ups.
3. Grill Outside and Away From Structures
Grills are designed for outdoor use. However, according to the NFPA, 29% of grill fires start from grills located on an exterior balcony or open porch. Enclosed spaces, overhangs, and low hanging tree branches are recipes for outdoor grill disasters. Also, never grill in a garage due to avoid the build up of dangerous carbon monoxide.
4. Double-Check Your Grill Stability
When it comes to grilling safety tips, this one is important! If the ground is rocky, make sure before you begin your cookout so that someone won't accidentally bump it and send the grill toppling over.
5. Check Your Propane Tank
Before starting grilling for the season, apply a light soap and water solution to your propane hose, then inspect it after turning on the gas. If the line bubbles, you've got yourself a gas leak that needs to be addressed.
6. Keep Your Grill Clean
All you need to keep your grill clean is a long-handled wire brush, some warm water, and dish soap. Shut the grill lid and let the grill heat, cooking off the burnt-on food or grease. Then turn it off, disconnect the propane, and let it cool completely before cleaning.
7. Be Aware of Any Flammable Clothing You Are Wearing
Grilling in the winter can be tricky, especially if you are chilly. Skip the scarf (could be combustible if it falls into the grates!) and use the hot coals to keep you warm.
8. Wait to Re-Light a Hot Grill
If you are using a gas grill and it goes out, wait with the grill lid open to relight. A build-up of gas in the grill could cause it to combust.
9. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Homeowners should keep a fire extinguisher or baking soda near their BBQ at all times in case of a fire.
10. Teach Family Members to Be Safe
To prevent injury, let family members know (especially the little ones) that the grill is off-limits to play around.
11. Never Leave a Grill Unattended
While entertaining, it can be pretty easy to get distracted and walk away from the grill. Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need so you do not need to walk away from the grill including tongs, a meat thermometer, and a clean plate for your food.