There are charcoal, gas, and electric grills available for your summertime cookouts. Regardless of your grill type, following safety measures when barbecuing is essential. Here are a few grilling safety tips to help your summer be accident-free.

Grilling Safety at Home

Choose a Safe Location

Choose an area with low traffic at least 10 feet away from the house to place your grill. The grill should be set up away from overhanging branches, outbuildings, trees, lawn furniture, and fences. Gas and charcoal grills are designed for use in outdoor areas only. Place your grill in a space that’s away from pets and children to minimize activity around the grill.

Grilling Safety Means Checking for Fuel Leaks

Before using a propane grill, check the hoses connecting the tank and burners for blockages or leaks. Insects or grease can clog the hoses. Look for leaks by applying a solution that’s equal parts dish detergent and water to the valve connecting the hose to the tank. If you see bubbles after turning on the gas, this means there may be a gas leak. Fix or replace your grill before use.

Don’t Cross-Contaminate Foods

Use only clean tongs or spatulas. Remove fat buildup and grease in the grill box and on the grates. Keep other food away from raw meat to avoid contamination that might result in food poisoning.

Clean the grills after each use to reduce potential health and fire hazards. Frequent cleaning prevents the accumulation of dirt, grease, and fat.

Make Sure the Grill is Stable

Set the grill on a flat surface so it does not easily tip over. Use a grill pad under the grill to protect the deck or patio. Never leave the grill unattended or relocate a lit grill; this can result in a fire. Wait to move the grill until it’s been turned off or extinguished for at least half an hour.

For Grilling Safety Use the Correct Starter

There are various starter fuel options when building a fire. Only use charcoal starter fluid with your charcoal grill. Don’t use other fuels or flammable liquids. Always make sure to keep the starter fluid away from children and pets.

Have a Fire Extinguisher Ready

Prepare food to reduce flare-ups, but always be ready for an emergency situation by keeping baking soda and a fire extinguisher nearby. Baking soda can be used for putting out grease fires. Fire extinguishers are useful for fires nearby, like tree branches or patio furniture.

In addition to these grilling safety tips, it’s best to wear well-fitting clothes, tuck in shirts, and secure apron strings to avoid catching fire. Keep long hair tied back when cooking. Teach children to stay at least 10 feet away from the grill and always have another adult present to supervise children and pets.

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