Summer for most Americans means “busting out the grill” and hosting some barbecues in the warm weather, whether it be with friends, family, or both. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Americans enjoy more than three billion barbecues each year. By my calculations that’s enough chicken and steak to reach around the circumference of the Earth four times! (I just made that up, but still, there’s a lot of grilling going on). As you prepare a succulent host of BBQ food this year, remember to keep grilling safety in mind!
Some things to remember:
- Wear a protective fire-resistant apron or similar garb, and mitts that reach up to your forearms to avoid burns.
- Keep you grill’s gas cylinder AWAY from your house or flammable structures.
- Check for leaks often by sprinkling soapy water around the gas valve; if there’s a leak, bubbles will form. Never check for a gas leak by using a match. This can happen.
- Make sure the gas is off whenever the grill is not in use.
- If using a charcoal grill, only use lighter fluid specified for charcoal grills. NEVER USE GASOLINE. Also never add more lighter fluid once a fire has already started; if needed, add small sticks or other tinder to augment the flame.
- When finished, douse coals with water before disposing of them in the trash.
- Our specialized outdoor flame/fire consultant advises you to take extra caution when grilling in the woods. Only you can prevent forest fires.
- Check grill hoses for cracks or leaks; make sure the hose doesn’t kink.
- Keep additional open flames away from the grill.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Never attempt to repair a grill yourself.
- Remember that grills can remain hot long after the fire is out.
- Be safe and have fun!