Summertime is full of cookouts. With grills going in backyards everywhere, it’s extremely important to practice safety to prevent fires and injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), May, June, July and August are the peak months for grill fires with July being the highest. To avoid fires or injuries in your backyard, here are a few safety tips to follow:
Use the grill outside and away from structures.
Gas and charcoal grills are only designed for outdoor use. It is extremely important to keep them away from courtyards, covered patios or roofing as these can easily become hazards. Look out for overhanging tree branches as well and trim them back if necessary.
Stabilize the grill.
Set your grill up on a flat surface and be sure it can’t get tipped over. There are special grill pads and splatter mats that can be purchased as well to keep it secure and protect your patio or deck.
Clean the grill regularly.
Buildup of grease can cause fires, so remove grease and fat each time you finish grilling. If you are using a charcoal-based grill, wait for the coals to cool off completely before tossing them into a metal container.
If the flame goes out, wait before re-lighting.
When using a gas grill, the flame may go out sometimes. If this occurs, turn the grill and gas off completely and wait at least 5 minutes to light it again.
Never leave the grill unattended.
If there are children or pets playing outside while a grill is going, be sure there is an adult to supervise at all times. They should never be left alone or allowed to play close to it. The grill will stay hot for at least an hour after it is turned off as well, so keep this in mind and make sure children understand the rules.
Wear safe clothing.
It is easy for clothing to catch on fire, so make sure nothing dangles over the grill. Apron strings or shirt tails could easily be caught and create an injury.
Be prepared if a fire happens.
In the event of a grill fire, make sure you have baking soda on hand to prevent grease fires or a fire extinguisher for other causes. Never use water to attempt to put out a grease fire.
Practice safety when using your grill this season and enjoy the time spent outside with friends and family.