Grilling safely

Many Americans fire up the grill when the weather is warm, especially during summer holidays and family get-togethers. This adds up to more than three billion barbecues a year. But there are some life-threatening dangers that can occur without proper precautions.

Here are some important tips to help you keep danger away when you are enjoying food and fun:

Choose a safe location for your grill. Keep grills on a level surface more than 10 feet away from the house, garage, deck rails or other structures. Keep away from children, pets, landscaping and overhanging branches. Grills should not be used on a balcony or under an overhang.

Grill outside only! Never use a grill in a garage, vehicle, tent or other enclosed space, even if ventilated, due to risk of harmful carbon monoxide buildup.

Use the right tools. When you barbecue, protect yourself. Use long handled tools designated for grilling to prevent burns. Wear an oven mitt long enough to cover your forearm and a heavy apron.

Keep gas grills and supplies safe. Always store gas grills – and the gas cylinders – outside and away from your house. Turn off valves if the odor of gas is detected or when not in use. Check annually for leaks in the connections.

Use the right fuel the right way. While starting and maintaining the flame in a charcoal grill can be challenging, avoid shortcuts. Only use starter fluids intended for these grills. Never use gasoline or too much starter fluid. If the fire is too low, rekindle with dry kindling and more charcoal if needed. Avoid adding liquid fuel because it can cause a flash fire. Do not leave grill unattended.

Do not forget post-grilling safety. Dispose of coals by soaking them in water to let them cool completely and placing them in a closed metal container away from your home, garage or deck. Be aware that grills themselves remain hot long after extinguished.

How and when to use a fire extinguisher

If fire erupts, swift action is critical

Learn what to do >
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