After what seemed like a winter that wouldn’t end, it’s finally SUMMERTIME!!!
That means kids are out of school, long weekends at the shore, and backyard parties are in your near future! BBQ picnics are a way to casually get together. But before you take out the burgers, buns, and condiments, remember these safe grilling tips to keep your home and family safe this summer season:
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- Always supervise a BBQ and make sure everyone, including pets, stay away from the hot grill.
- Keep the grill away from the house, deck railings, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire. Hot grease or ashes could spill from the grill onto a wooden deck or into dry leaves or grass and catch fire.
- Be ready to close the lid and turn off the grill to cut off the fuel if necessary.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. Be sure to clean after EVERY use.
- Keep a fireproof pan under the grill to catch falling ashes or grease.
- Trim excess fat from meat to avoid flare-ups.
- Use long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill and keep a set of oven mitts handy just in case.
- Have a kitchen fire extinguisher nearby just in case a flare up gets out of hand and be sure to call the fire department if an emergency occurs.
Some special tips for using charcoal grills:
- There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as fuel.
- Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
- If you do use starter fluid, only use 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 of 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.
- Be sure to check the gas tank hose 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 your grill has a gas leak that you detect by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn of the gas tank and grill.
- If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
- If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. DO NOT MOVE THE GRILL.
All set! Now take those kids outside and away from their video games and computers and have yourself a nice family BBQ. Happy grilling from the American Red Cross!