According to National Fire Protection Association, approximately 10,600 fires are caused by grills each year. Whether you have a grill, charcoal grill, or smoker, putting the safety first before you start cooking is important.
Add fun and less risk to your next summer barbecue with these 15 grill safety tips:
- Check the grill hose for air leaks. Before you use your grill for the first time of the season, make sure it’s ready to go. Apply a mild soap and water solution to the hose, then turn on the propane tank. If the air is out, the propane will release bubbles around the hose. If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe and ready to fire.
- Keep the grill at least 10 feet away from your home. Avoid areas near your home, deck, garage, shed, etc. And don’t forget to move your grill from under ribs, power lines, or overhanging branches.
- Do not burn in the garage. If rain is on your mind, it may be tempting to bring the grill into the garage… but doing so can lead to serious problems. Flames and carbon monoxide can enter homes and cause fires, toxic fumes, and even gas explosions. Do not burn in closed areas. It is not safe at all.
- Turn on the grill only when the lid is open. If you light the grill with the lid closed, propane can build up inside. When activated, it can explode and deal a lot of damage to you or objects around you.
- Do not leave the grill unattended. Once turned on, they need to be monitored at all times. Do not enter the house or be so far away that you cannot see or react to the danger. Although smokers take hours to cook and it’s not worth waiting, it’s safe to connect it to your mobile phone to monitor it, as long as you check the smoker regularly.
- Create a “kid-free zone.” Encourage children (and pets) to stay at least three feet away from the grill. Consider the layout of your yard and high traffic areas before you install your grill to make it less fun.
- Grill on an even surface. Place your grill on a flat, hard surface such as a concrete pad to prevent collisions. Consider adding grill-proof tiles underneath to protect your deck or patio.
- Keep a fire extinguisher near the grill. Baking soda, a bucket of sand, or a garden hose can control a grease fire, but a fire extinguisher is always the safest and most reliable option. Keep one close to the grill and know how to use it. For small flames from oil droplets, keep a spray bottle filled with water handy to extinguish the flames before they spread.
- If you smell gas when you are grilling, walk away. Call the fire department immediately if you smell gas. Don’t risk continuing to cook and putting yourself at risk.
- Wear a heavy apron and oven mitts. Protect yourself from heat and fire with proper fireproof clothing. Always wear shoes near the grill and choose closed-toe shoes. Consider wearing welding gloves to protect your hands from the fire. Do not wear loose clothing when grilling.
- Use long utensils. Avoid burns and splatters with extra tools.
- Clean your grill regularly. The more oil and grease that builds up on your grill, the hotter it gets. When cool, clean your grill grates and remove the grease tray.
- Do not cover the grill until it is set. Before leaving the grill, double check that everything is turned off and the gas can is completely closed. Even after dinner, the grill can be hot. To prevent unnecessary summer burns, do not move, store, or cover your grill until you are sure it has cooled down.
- Put charcoal and charcoal in a metal can, away from your home. Once the grill is cool, remove your charcoal and grill in the correct direction. Dispose of in an empty metal container instead of in the trash or in your yard. Improper disposal may cause larger flames.
- Store propane tanks outside and away from your home. Store propane tanks outdoors in well-ventilated areas. Keep them upright and always check that the valves are fully closed.
Now that you’ve got your grill covered with our 15 grill safety tips, make sure your entire home is covered by homeowner’s insurance. Talk to a local, independent agent about your current policy and where you can increase your protection.