Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines:
General grilling tips
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Barbecure grills are designed for outdoor use, only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area because
carbon monoxide may accumulate and kill you.
- Use in well-ventilated area. Set up your grill in an open area that is away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces,
dry leaves, or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbecue in a well-ventilated area.
Be aware of wind-blown sparks.
- Keep grill stable. When using a barbecue grill, be sure that all parts of the unit are firmly in place and that the grill is stable
(can't be tipped over).
- Use long-handled utensils. Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.
- Wear safe clothing. Wear clothing that does not have hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use
flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.
- Keep fire under control. To put out flare-ups, either raise the grid that the food is on, spread the coals out evenly, or adjust
the controls to lower the temperature. If you must douse the flames with a light spritz of water, first remove the food from the grill.
- Be ready to extinguish flames. Use baking soda to control a greasefire and have a fire extinguisher handly. A bucket of sand
or a garden hose should be near if you don't have a commercial extinguisher.
- Consider placing a grill pad or splatter mat beneath your grill. These naturally heat resistant pads are usually made of
lightweight composite cement or plastic and will protect your deck or patio from any grease that misses the drip pan.
- Stay away from hot grill. Don't allow anyone to conduct activity near the grill when in use or immediately following its use.
The grill body remains hot up to an hour after being used.
- Don't move a hot grill. Never attempt to move a hot grill. It's easy to stumble or drop it and serious burns could result.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
Before you use your grill:
- Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where
the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
- Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
- Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
- Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
- If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
- If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before
using it again.
- If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.
When the grill is on:
- As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
- If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
- If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.
- There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using
newspaper as a fuel.
- If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.