It’s that time of year again: grilling season. Nothing beats a chargrilled steak at the end of a hot summer day. However, cooking outdoors can lead to grilling accidents. It only takes one small mistake for an injury to occur. Keep your family, friends, and pets from harm this summer by following these simple grilling safety tips.

Grilling Safety Tips for Your Next Summer Barbeque

1. Safe Grilling Happens Outdoors

Charcoal and gas grills should never be used indoors or in enclosed spaces. Always operate your grill outdoors in a well-ventilated area that’s at least 10 feet away from your home, outdoor structures, and patio furniture. Before lighting the grill, make sure there are no low-hanging tree branches, awnings, or other hazards in your way.

2. Check for Leaks for Grilling Safety

Check your gas grill for propane leaks before you begin preparing food. Mix a solution of water and dish soap, spray the solution onto your propane hose and connectors, and then turn on the gas. If there are any leaks, the solution will bubble. Don’t use a grill with a fuel leak. Replace the hoses and connectors before you cook out.

3. For Safe Grilling, Clean the Grates

Clean your grill after every use. Dump the tray of fat buildup and grease before you begin. Scrub the grates with a wire brush or steel wool to clean excess residue. Removing food particles and grease helps with grilling safety by preventing flare-ups while cooking.

4. Pay Attention to Kids and Pets

Grilling safety tips help protect what we care about most. Take extra precautions when cooking around children or pets. Have another adult present to supervise kids and pets, and keep them at least three feet away from the grill at all times. Remind your children that the grill is hot and not a safe place to play. Most importantly, never leave your grill unattended.

5. Clothing for Grilling Safety

Grilling safety begins with choosing the right clothes for the job. Opt for well-fitted clothing. Tie long hair back. Apron strings and shirt sleeves should be short enough to never hang over the flames.

6. Re-light Carefully

If your gas grill’s flame goes out, do not re-light it immediately. Turn the grill off and wait about 5 minutes before re-lighting. If you’re using a charcoal grill, do not add lighter fluid to hot coals. Maintain airflow around the coals and use kindling if you need to revive the coals.

7. Be Prepared When Grilling

Never let a fire catch you unprepared. Have a fire extinguisher on-hand for stray embers and keep baking soda nearby in case of a grease fire. If you don’t own a fire extinguisher, buy one before your first cookout. In an emergency, you can pour a bucket of sand on flames to extinguish the fire.

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