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Barbecue Safety

Barbecue SafetyThe month of May celebrates National BBQ Month. Now that the weather across the country is warmer and summer is quickly approaching, more people are lighting up their barbecues. While many use this time to stake their claim as the nation’s best BBQ or to share recipes and cooking tips, we wanted to share some BBQ safety tips.

The National Fire Protection Association states that seven out of 10 adults in the U.S. have a grill or a smoker. This mean more chances for fire risks and injuries. Between 2011-2015, fire departments were called to an annual average of 9,600 home fires that involved grills, hibachis or barbecues. Believe it or not, each year 16,600 people visit the ER due to injuries involving grills, including 8,200 thermal burns. Many of the injuries were the result of improper use.

Propane & Charcoal Safety
  • Read your owner’s manual and learn how to use your grill properly before you start grilling.
  • Grills should only be used outside, well away from any structure – homes, leaves, or branches, preferably 10 feet or more.
  • Utilize grilling gloves and long handled utensil to keep your arms, hands and face safe from the flames and heat.
  • Wear appropriate clothing while grilling. Avoid wearing loose or hanging clothing as it could catch fire if it comes into contact with the flames.
  • Keep children and pets away from grilling area, preferable 3 or more feet away.
  • Keep baking soda near the grill, along with a fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
  • Never leave a grill unattended. Note that a grill can also stay hot one hour after use.
  • Before using a propane grill, check for any gas leaks. Use a light soap and water solution to the hoses. If you see bubbles you have a leak. Also, there could be the smell of gas.
  • Always make sure the gas grill cover is open before lighting it. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.
  • If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If additional assistance is needed, consider using a charcoal chimney starter which allows you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use an electric grill, use a proper extension cord for outdoor use.
  • Do not overload your grill with food to prevent flare-ups.
  • Clean your grill after every use to remove grease and fat buildup and to prevent flare ups.
  • When you are finished using your gas grill turn off all your burners and the fuel supply. Do not move the grill until it has cooled off.
  • When you are finished using your charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Have a safe time with family and friends while enjoying one of American’s favorite backyard pastimes.