Safe Grilling Tips for This Summer

July 15, 2022

Nothing beats firing up the grill and throwing down on some hot dogs, burgers, or barbecue to enjoy with a cold beverage in the hot summer sun. Whether you prefer charcoal or propane and propane accessories, grilling on an open flame is yet another way for us to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather.

Just like any other summer activity, precautions should be taken before you so much as light a match. Check out these helpful safe grilling tips and ensure a safe — and delicious — meal for everyone.

Keep your grill in a safe place.

Before you fire up the grill, make sure it’s in a safe location at least 10 feet away from your house or any other structures, including garages and sheds. Place the grill on a flat, level surface to prevent hot coals and embers from spilling out and to ensure the grill doesn’t roll away. Finally, keep any decorations away from the grill, such as bird feeders and wind chimes.

Clean your grill.

A dirty grill isn’t just gross — it’s also a fire hazard. As old, burnt food accumulates, the collected grease and fat can ignite and start a fire. Before you light a fire, clean off your grill with a wire brush. When you’re finished grilling and you’ve given the grill time to cool off, remove the components of the grill — including the grates and burners — and rinse them off in warm, soapy water.

Prepare for flare-ups and fires.

As mentioned above, grease and fat can ignite and start fires, but this can also occur in the process of cooking too. When grilling, watch out for flare-ups and keep a squirt bottle filled with water nearby. In case a fire grows out of control, have a fire extinguisher close by.

Always watch your grill.

With so much going on outside, you may find it easy to get distracted while you’re grilling. However, your focus should remain on your grill. Never leave a grill unattended — keep a close eye on what you’re doing to make sure nothing goes wrong.

Don’t overload your grill.

The temptation to put as much food as possible and get as much cooked as you may be tempting. However, not only will overloading your grill distract you, but too much grease can cause a fire. Take your time and only cook as much as food as your grill is built for.

Stay safe with gas grills.

Propane grills present their own unique challenges. Before igniting your burners, check for any leaks by spreading soapy water on the gas line. If bubbles appear, that means the line has been punctured and is leaking propane. Also, be sure to open the lid of your grill before turning the gas on. With the lid closed, too much gas can build up, causing a fireball when ignited. Open the grill first to avoid injury when lighting it.

If your grilling didn’t quite go as planned, the friendly providers at the Culbertson Emergency Services are here for you. To schedule an appointment, call (217) 322-5333.