The joys of outdoor cooking are numerous. Children can play and exercise, while adults relax in the sunshine and hang out with each other. In the U.S., 82% of homes own a grill and 97% of grill owners use them, even year round.
Grilling presents a set of hazards to be considered. Be sure to review these tips and facts to make sure your outdoor kitchen can continue to provide happiness and fun.
PURCHASING A GRILL:
- Consider type of grill first: Propane, Charcoal, Electricity, Natural Gas or Wood. Each type has specific safety considerations and some types may not be suitable for your grilling space.
- Make accurate measurements of your grilling area and be sure that the space is well ventilated and far from anything potentially flammable, such as vegetation, wood railings, fabrics, and the building.
- If you live in an apartment, make sure that you are permitted to have a grill. Many multi-unit buildings have specific guidelines and restrictions with regards to grills, and they exist for a good reason.
ACCESSORIES FOR YOUR GRILL:
These accessories serve a purpose for keeping you and your property safe from fire.
- Use flame-retardant mitts. Standard kitchen mitts are not safe for open flames.
- Use long-handled utensils designed for grilling to avoid burns and scalds.
- Use baking soda to control grease fires.
- Fire Extinguishers should always be on hand while grilling.
USING YOUR GRILL:
- Always follow the manufacturer instructions and call their helpline if you have questions about the installation or use.
- Use your grill outdoors only away from overhangs and enclosures, including screened porches.
- Make sure that the grill is stable and parts are positioned firmly on/in the grill.
- If using electricity, make sure that it is properly grounded, the cord is for outdoor use, and the cord is not on walkways or near heated surfaces.
- Make sure that hair, clothing and other fabrics are tied back and kept away from warm surfaces.
- Never leave a grill unattended.
- Establish a “Kid-Free” Zone at least 3 feet away from the grill. Not only does fire pose a hazard to playing children, sharp corners can cause serious injury.
- Pets should not be allowed near the grilling area.
- Do not ever attempt to move a hot grill.
- Be sure to shut off fuel supply and burners when finished grilling.
- To put out flare-ups, spread coals with a long handled utensil, adjust controls to reduce temperatures. Be sure to use an elbow length flam-retardant mitt.
Propane and Gas
- Always check the hose for leaks before using the grill.
- If you smell a gas leak, do not use the grill.
- If you smell a gas leak while it is on, get away from the grill and call for emergency services. Do not move the grill.
- Open the lid before lighting to release any potential buildup of gas.
Charcoal and Wood
- Only use starter fluids designed for the grill. Never add other flammable liquids to the grill to ignite a fire.
- Keep starter fluid and matches stored away safely from children.
- When finished, let coals completely cool before moving into a metal container for disposal.
IN CASE OF FIRE:
- To put out flare-ups, spread coals with a long handled utensil, adjust controls to reduce temperatures. Be sure to use an elbow length flame-retardant mitt.
- If the fire cannot be put out with an extinguisher, or it is likely to combust, clear the area and contact emergency services.
- NEVER move a grill that is on fire.