If you’re not careful when grilling, your cookout can become dangerous in the blink of an eye. According to the National Fire Protection Association, gas grills were involved in about 8900 fires per year in the United States between 2014 and 2018, and charcoal grills were involved in an average of 1300 fires per year over the same period. To keep your home and family safe, check out these eight useful tips to grill safely.

Use a Flat Surface to Grill Safely

Many fires start from a grill tipping over after being placed on uneven ground. This is a pretty simple precaution; place your grill on a level surface to grill safely. If most of your property is sloped, then you should level out a spot with concrete, sand, or packed earth.

Keep a Distance from Other Objects

You should never grill indoors or close to any structures. Your grill should be placed at least 10 feet away from your home, garage, shed, and trees. When your grill is too close, you risk catching something on fire.

Have a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

If your grill catches on fire, water isn’t the best way to extinguish it. Any grease on your grill will provide fuel for the flames and water will only make it worse. To make sure that a grill fire doesn’t get out of control, keep a fire extinguisher handy whenever you’re cooking.

Dress Right to Grill Safely

Hair and clothes are flammable, so don’t wear loose clothes that will dangle over the grill and tie back long hair. Baggy clothing, loose hair, and long jewelry should not be worn while grilling. In order to grill safely, it’s important to wear the right clothes that won’t come in contact with a hot grill.

Pay Attention

Your eyes should be on the grill at all times; never leave it unattended. If you’re hosting a family event, make sure that the kids aren’t running and playing around the grill. You don’t want your grill to get tipped over, so make sure that the grill is situated far away from any lawn games.

Turn Off the Propane

To grill safely, you need to practice propane safety. Make sure the lid is open when you turn on the propane. Always remember to turn off the propane when you’re done grilling.

Careful Relighting

Sometimes, the flame may go out while you’re cooking. You may be tempted to light it back up right away, but this is not a good idea. If the flame is out while the valve is still on, then it’s likely that gas is still coming through and accumulating in the grill. Rather than risking an explosion, turn off the propane and wait a few minutes before lighting it back up.

Wash Your Hands to Grill Safely

A grill fire shouldn’t be your only concern. When cooking anything, you must have a sanitary environment. If you’re handling meat or fish, then it’s especially important to wash your hands every time you touch something. Make sure to wash your hands, sanitize your cooking environment, and cook meat products at a safe temperature to avoid food poisoning.

Read our articles about deck safety and pool safety to learn more about keeping your home safe during summer.

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