Everything You Need to Know About Grill Safety
Posted on 07/12/2023

Summer is here! It's time to bust out the grilling tongs for some summer meals. However, with great fun comes great responsibility! We covered fireworks and campfire safety, and now it's time for our summer safety series on grills. July is the peak month for grill fires, but the good news is that these fires can be prevented. 


Let's look at some helpful tips known to reduce risks associated with cookouts and barbecues from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):


Only use grills outside. 

The grill should be placed away from the home and deck railings and out from under any hanging branches. It's unsafe to put your grill inside an open garage or under a covered balcony, as the propane and charcoal BBQ grills are only for outdoor use where there is ventilation. Before starting it up, anything above or below your grill could catch fire, so check your surroundings for anything flammable, including a wood deck. 


Keep your family safe.

Keep your grill on a flat, level surface. Grills on any slopes or uneven ground can tip over. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area. Never leave your grill unattended; ask another adult to watch it if you have to leave. 


Keep your grills clean and check for leaks. 

Remove grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. Clean after each use, as the buildup can catch fire when you start the grill. Always make sure you check for any leaks and open the gas grill lid before lighting it. If you store your grill inside during winter, check it thoroughly when the grilling season begins. A leak in the gas lines can cause propane or natural gas to build up inside. 

Wear appropriate clothing and have an extinguisher close by.

Make sure your apron strings are tied back or your long sleeves are rolled up; if you are not careful, any article of clothing too close to an open flame can catch fire. If something you wear catches fire, stop, drop, and roll until the fire is out. Keeping a spray bottle on hand is recommended to extinguish smaller flames if the meat flares up. Having your fire extinguisher (like EX Fire Spray) close by also can keep any fire at bay.


These tips, together with planning and having conversations about grill safety among family and friends, are a sure way to ensure a safe summer of grilling!

The best part is following these tips are free or low-cost! For low-cost spray bottles, check out your local 
dollar store. For low-cost fire extinguishers, check out the Kidde 5-B:C Rated Disposable Fire Extinguisher at Home Depot for less than $20. As always, reach out to your local health department if you have any questions about safe grilling, and keep an eye out for the next post in the summer safety series, where we will cover water safety! 

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