Just like hamburgers and hot dogs, a sizzling grill is a symbol of summer. And grilling isn’t just about great food; backyard barbecues often create treasured memories with friends and family.
However,it’s important to remember that when you grill, you’re literally playing with fire. Unfortunately, thousands of residents each year learnthis the hard way, suffering damage to their homes or even sustaining serious injuries in grilling accidents.
The good news is that youcan prevent grilling accidents by taking some simple precautions. Keep the following tips in mind to help ensure that you cook only your burgers – and not your house – the next time you fire up the grill.
TIPS FOR ALL TYPES OF GRILLS
- Your grill, whether gas or charcoal, should be on a level surface outdoors, away from anything that could be ignited by flames (bushes, fences, etc.).
- NEVER use a grill indoors. Odorless carbon monoxide fumes can be fatal.
- Keep your grill clean and well-maintained. Check parts regularly to determine if replacements are needed.
- Never leave a hot grill unattended or let children play near it.
CHARCOAL GRILL TIPS
Do not add lighter fluid directly to hot coals, as the flame could travel up the stream of fluid and burn you.
- Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire.
- Use flame-retardant mitts and long-handled barbecue tongs, considering that coals can reach up to 1,000 degrees.
- To dispose of coals, first allowthe ashes to cool for at least 48 hours. Then, proceed with disposal ina non-combustible container. If you cannot wait 48 hours, carefully place coals individually in a can of sand or bucket of water.
GAS GRILL TIPS
From the National Fire Protection Association
- Check your grill’s hoses for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If you have a leak that stops when the grill and gas are turned off, have your grill serviced by a professional. On the other hand, if the leak will not stop after the grill and gas is turned off, call the fire department.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Never attempt to move the grill.
- Do not keep a filled propane tank in a hot car or trunk. When getting containers refilled, make that your last stop before going home.
- Always store propane tanks outdoors in an upright position.
- From all of us at Barton Insurance, happy grilling, and stay safe this summer!
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