Every year as the weather warms up the desire to grill out at home increases, as does the incidents of grill-related house fires. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, fire departments went to an annual average of 8,900 house fires involving grills per year between 2014-2018 including 3,900 structure fires. With 64% of households owning a gas grill, 44% owning a charcoal grill, and 9% owning an electric grill, safety while operating is important to remember. Whatever type of grill you own, here are our 10 grilling safety tips for keeping you, your family, and your home safe this summer.
10 Grilling Safety Tips for Summer Grilling at Home
Grill outside – gas and charcoal grills are designed for outdoor use, that includes outside of the garage! You can increase the safety of your home by only using your grill outdoors, away from your home/patio/terrace/garage, in an open area free from low-hanging branches.
Stabilize the grill – set up your grill on a flat surface to ensure it cannot be tipped over. If your grill is located on a wood surface like a patio or a deck, consider placing a mat below it to prevent fire starting splatter.
Keep it clean – after each use, rid your grill of grease or fat buildup. If you’re using a charcoal grill, be sure to dispose of your coals after use (make sure they’re completely cooled and dispose of them in a metal container).
Check for leaks – an unknown propane leak will lead to the fire department attending your BBQ. Check the gas hose for leaks by using soapy water then turning on the gas – if there’s a leak you’ll see bubbles. Another indication of a leak is the smell of gas near your grill. Fix the leak before you light it up.
Wait to relight – if your flame goes out, simply wait to relight it. Turn the gas and the grill off, wait 5 minutes, then relight.
Don’t leave your grill unattended – grills are appealing to kids and pets, but keep them at an arms length away! Stay near the grill to ensure the safety of those around it.
Starter fluid – be careful! Only use starter fluid on a charcoal grill. If the fire goes out, do not add any fluid, but instead use a charcoal starter.
Be mindful of what you wear – sleeves, strings, loose hair, and dangly jewelry are all flammable.
Shut it down properly – for a gas grill, disconnect the propane and move it away from the grill. Make sure all valves are in the closed position to avoid a leak. For a charcoal grill, wait at least 48 hours to make sure the ashes are entirely cooled before you dispose of them.
Safety first – be ready to extinguish a fire. You can keep baking soda nearby to put out a grease fire and a fire extinguisher close.
So, there you have it. Ten grilling safety tips to consider this barbeque season. This easy to follow list of safety tips will keep you, your family, and your home safe from a house fire.