Warm weather means barbecues and fire pits. July through September are typically considered grilling months, and fire safety should always be in the front of your mind when firing up the grill.
Did you know that an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling each year? Take these tips to keep your backyard safe and the flames inside the grill – and away from your home.
Safety Tips for Grilling
The good thing is that fire prevention doesn’t mean you can’t grill, it just means that you need to be safe when you do so. Thinking about small precautions and smarter methods, you can keep grilling season safe no matter how long it lasts.
General Grill Safety Tips
Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from homes or other structures like garages, sheds and decks.
Watch out for placing a grill under low hanging tree branches and overhangs… or even outdoor decorations.
Grills must be placed on stable ground. A safe grill is one that stays planted firmly on the ground with no chance of tipping over and causing a fire.
NEVER use a grill indoors. This includes putting a grill inside your garage.
If you are grilling around animals or children, keep a three foot off limits zone around the grill to keep them away from the flames.
Clean your grill after every use. Dirty grills are one of the leading causes of fires!
Never leave a grill unattended.
Have a fire extinguisher ready to put out any flames.
Using a Propane Grill? Follow These Safety Steps
Propane grills are found in three out of five households. If you are one of these homes, do the following before starting your grill for the season.
Before your first use of the season, check the gas tank hose by putting a light layer of soapy water on the hose. If you see bubbles, have the grill serviced by a professional immediately.
Should you smell gas while using your grill, power it down right away. If you still smell smoke, contact the fire department.
Always leave the hood of the grill open when you light your grill.
Do not store propane tanks in vehicles or enclosed spaces that can experience extreme temperatures.
After grilling is complete, make sure the grill is off and completely cool.
Have a Charcoal Grill? Use these Safety Tips
Charcoal grills may not light as quickly as gas grills, but some people prefer the smoky flavor they provide! If this is your method of grilling, follow these safety tips.
When you use lighter fluid, wait until the fluid is completely soaked into the charcoal before lighting them.
Never use lighter fluid on coals that are already lit.
Electric starters should not be used in the rain or on wet ground.
If you use a chimney or other starter, be aware that it will be hot to the touch. Make sure you place it somewhere free of flammable materials!
Let charcoal cool for at least 48 hours before you dispose of the coal.