Summer Grilling Safety Tips
Posted on 05-16-2017
Memorial Day Weekend tends to kick-off the summer, and that includes using your grill as a means for cooking. According to National Fire Protection Association, three out of five homes own a gas grill and grill-related fires occur May through August with July being the peak month for fires. And, NFPA states that there are 8,900 house fires with more fires being caused by gas versus charcoal grills.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when dealing with gas grills to reduce your risk of injury and reducing the risk of fire:
1. Grill away from structures and tree limbs.
First off, both gas and charcoal grills are meant for outdoor use only. Do not grill on a balcony or open porch which account for over 29% of house fires from a grill, according to NFPA. Your grill should be at least three feet away from your home...the further, the better. Be sure your grill is clear of any foilage or branches from nearby trees or lattice.
2. Clean away the grease.
Before you turn on a grill, give the grates a good cleaning to remove grease build-up, and make sure the tray underneath is cleaned before firing up the grill. If you plan to clean your grill after use, allow the grill to completely cool.
3. Check for propane leaks.
Do a check when using your grill for the first time that year and then continue checking on a regular basis during the months of use. An easy way to check for leaks is to have a bottle of soapy water in hand and spray all hoses and connections. Open the grill lid and turn it on. If you see the water/soap mixture bubble then you know you have a leak. Connections will need to be tightened or parts replaced.
4. Keep the lid open.
Always open the lid to your grill before lighting. Many people make the mistake of keeping the lid closed which causes a gas build-up which produces a fireball that explodes when the person opens the lid, causing injury.
5. Wait to re-light your grill.
If the flame goes out or doesn't want to start right away, do not keep hitting the igniter switch. Shut the gas off completely and wait about five minutes to re-light the grill.
6. Keep safety supplies on hand.
It's always a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher nearby when grilling. If you don't have one, keep a bucket of sand near the grill to douse any fire caused by a jumping flame. Do not use water to try to put out a grease fire.
Most importantly...never leave a grill unattended and keep children and pets away from a grill.
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