Grilling food is one of the most classic summer pastimes to bring people together for a meal outside. However, there are always risks when dealing with fire. Use these 7 tips for safe grilling practices to keep your cookouts incident-free.

Tips for a Safe Grilling Location

Move your grill out into the open before lighting it up. Don’t use a grill next to a deck railing or the side of the house. If you put the grill in the yard, keep it away from trees, cars, and outbuildings. A charcoal or gas grill can flare up at any time and catch nearby objects on fire.

Grill in a Well-Ventilated Area

Grills emit carbon monoxide when lit, so it is important to use the grill in a well-ventilated area. When carbon monoxide builds up in an enclosed space, it builds up to dangerous levels. Always grill in an open outdoor area without walls or a roof.

Check the Grill’s Condition

Before using the grill, inspect its condition. Holes in the kettle or leaks in the hoses are hazards. Sometimes damage is not visibly apparent. An effective way to check for gas leaks is by rubbing a soapy solution on the hoses and turning on the gas. If an area starts to bubble, it means gas is leaking out.

Tips for Safe Grilling Tools

Long-handled grilling tools help you use the grill safely by keeping your hands far from the flames. You’ll need a spatula, tongs, skewers, a meat thermometer, and a chimney starter. Buy high-quality tools for the best results.

Watch Kids and Pets

Kids and pets running around can knock into the grill and tip it over. A flipped grill can damage your property and injure people, not to mention ruin all the food. Keep kids and pets away from the grilling area.

Wear Appropriate Attire

Long loose sleeves and apron strings can dangle into the grill and catch on fire. Wear short sleeves and tie apron strings securely behind you. If you have long hair, wear it pulled back.

Tips for Safe Grilling on a Clean Grill

It is safer to cook on a clean grill, both for fire safety and sanitation reasons. Flare-ups start with grease and food particles stuck on the grill. Food also tastes better when the grill is clean.

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