Summer is a great time for being outside, enjoying the sunshine, and getting some fresh air. It also provides perfect weather for cookouts. But, cooking outdoors can pose its own set of challenges. Here are eight tips to help you grill safely this summer.
1. Set up the Grill in a Safe Location
The location of your grill plays a role in safety. There are a few different things to consider when deciding where to set up the grill.
- Make sure the grill is at least 10 feet away from your home in case of any stray flame or ashes.
- You need plenty of ventilation. You don’t want propane gas or carbon monoxide to build up.
- Never use a grill inside of your home or under canopies, awnings, or other covered areas. Both the heat and lack of ventilation can be a fire and health hazard.
- Keep the grill a few feet away from any wood railings.
- Grill safely this summer by avoiding nearby trees or shrubs when you set up the grill.
2. Be Aware of Your Clothing to Grill Safely This Summer
Never wear loose clothing when you are cooking on a grill and secure your apron strings. Loose, baggy, or frayed clothing can easily catch fire.
3. How to Light a Charcoal or Gas Grill
Grill safely by learning how to properly light your type of grill.
- Propane gas: Make sure the gas connection is secure and that the tank is safely stowed inside of the lower grill compartment. Keep the lid open when igniting the grill. If the flame doesn’t light right away, give it a few minutes before trying to light it again. Also, always turn off the nozzle on the tank when you are finished cooking.
- Charcoal: Starter fluid is highly flammable. Follow the directions very carefully when using it. Never put additional lighter fluid on the coals once they are lit. Always make sure the coals are completely cooled before disposing of them.
4. Grill Safely This Summer Around Children and Pets
The outside of the grill gets dangerously hot. If you have any small children or pets, keep them away from the lit grill. Having your grill in a gated area or even using a temporary baby-gate are both effective ways to keep kids and pets safe.
5. A Well-Maintained Grill Helps You Grill Safely This Summer
Take care of your grill. Maintaining the grill extends its life expectancy and keeps it safe to use.
- If your grill stays outdoors year round, having it covered during wet or snowy months will keep it in better overall condition.
- Make sure that your grill is on a stable surface to avoid any possible accidents.
- Keeping it clean will make it last longer and it will be healthier to cook on.
6. Never Leave a Grill Unattended
Unless you are using a slow-roaster in an enclosed area, you should always stay close to your grill when cooking. Accidents can happen quickly, so stay by the grill or have another adult tend to the grill if you need to step away.
7. Grilling Safely Means Using a Meat Thermometer
Cooking on a grill isn’t quite the same as cooking in your kitchen. Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the food is cooked properly and that it is healthy and safe to eat.
8. Have a Fire Extinguisher Present
Grill safely this summer by having a fire extinguisher ready and easily accessible. Extinguishers do have an expiration date so replace them when it has passed the date labeled.