Memorial Day is the unofficial start of the summer season, and I immediately think about cooking outdoors. The truth is we cook outdoors anytime the weather permits, but since we will be cooking out more in the next few months, it is a great time to make sure we check our equipment to make sure everything is ready to go. It is important to grill safe.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are over 8,500 residential grill fires every year resulting in over $27 million dollars in property damage, over 100 injuries and 10 deaths. Take a few precautions and enjoy the season.
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outside. Same goes for Turkey fryers or any other equipment you are using a portable propane tank with.
- Always have a fire extinguisher close by.
- Make sure you know how to operate the grill and follow all the safety tips. READ THE MANUAL. If you lost the manual go to the manufacturer’s website and download a copy.
- Charcoal grills are the cause of more fires than gas grills. It’s the lighter fluid. Personally, I don’t like using lighter fluid because it gives a funny taste, I use a charcoal chimney starter which you can get for under $20.00 anywhere you buy your grilling hardware. If you do use lighter fluid DO NOT add it to hot coals.
- The biggest problem with gas grills is an obstruction in the path of the fuel; regularly check the hoses and connections, because the grill is outside bugs and other critters can climb into places disrupting the flow. If there is a problem turn off the control values, turn off the fuel tank, and disconnect everything. Remember if it did not ignite turn it off let it sit for 10 minutes or more and retry.
- Clean the grill after every use so it is not collecting and building up in the bottom of the grill.
- The location of your grill is important you do not want it close to your home nor do you want any of your guests to have to walk to close to it.
- Lastly, make sure kids and stay away from the grill.
If you would like a copy of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Grilling Safety Tips send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a great recipe send it to us as well maybe we will feature it on a future post.