Grill On: Safety Tips for Outdoor Grilling

Labor Day weekend signifies the unofficial end of summer, the closing of swimming pools, and the start of the NFL and college football seasons. For a lot of people this weekend also means partaking in an outdoor culinary ritual known as grilling.

Nothing spoils a picnic or cookout faster than a fire, so before you throw the brats, burgers, and dogs on the grill, read these safety tips. Trusted Choice® independent agents enjoy a good cookout, but they would prefer not to pay you a visit because you accidentally grilled your home.

Safety Tips for Outdoor Grilling

  • Before using a propane gas grill, check the connection between the tank and the fuel line. Make sure the Venturi tubes (where the air and gas mix) are not blocked, and check hoses for cracks or damage.
  • Thoroughly clean gas grill after each use.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby but not on the grill at all times.
  • Never throw a match in a grill especially after the gas has been on three seconds.
  • Don’t leave a grill unattended.
  • Do not wear a loose apron or loose clothing while grilling. Always wear shoes.
  • Always use the grill's starter button, if the starter is broken do not use the grill. Remember to cover the grill to avoid to corrosion and rusting in both the controls and gas line. Rust can make grill controls hard to read and make the starter button difficult to depress. You may also want to consider a grill with an automatic starter, rather than button starter that can become difficult to push.
  • Be careful when grilling food with high fat content because they can produce high flames.
  • Always thoroughly cook food to a safe temperature.
  • Never throw away grill instructions or owners manual. Follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.
  • Never use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof. And never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas, as deadly carbon monoxide can be produced.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children. Supervise children around outdoor grills, which are objects of curiosity.
  • If using a charcoal or wood fire, dispose of hot coals properly by soaking them with water, then stirring to ensure that fire is extinguished. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
  • Keep alcoholic beverages away from the grill since they are flammable.
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