Grilling is a popular way to enjoy the nice summer weather, but each year in the United States there are 10,200 home fires that are caused by outdoor grills (NFPA). According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), July is the peak month for grill fires, followed closely by May, June and August. Grill fires can start easily and spread quickly when the gas or charcoal grill is placed too close to any fire hazards. Learn how you can help keep your home and family safe by following our grill safety tips.
1. Only use grills outside
It may be tempting to set up your barbecue grill inside of your open garage or under a covered balcony, but propane, gas and charcoal grills are strictly designed for outdoor use where there is plenty of ventilation. Any combustible materials that surround or hang over the grill when it’s in use can catch fire easily and quickly. Make sure that the area over top and around your grill is clear and unobstructed.
2. Place your grill away from your home
Barbeque grills are often placed just outside the back door or on the back deck against a railing. You should avoid placing your grill in these areas because it can pose a potential fire hazard. Grills that are placed too close to the house or other wood structures can heat up adjacent materials and cause a fire to start. Be sure to keep your grill at least 10 feet from your home or other structures.
3. Make sure your grill is located on a flat, level surface
Grills that are placed on slopes or other uneven surfaces can tip over easily and cause a fire. Make sure that your grill is set up on a stable surface such as a concrete pad so that it remains level while cooking food.
4. Check your grill for leaks
If you store your grill inside during the winter months, it’s important to check it over thoroughly when grilling season begins. A leak in the gas lines can cause propane or natural gas to build up inside the BBQ when the lid is closed. Check the gas lines to make sure that they are free of leaks before using your grill, and always open the lid of your barbecue before lighting.
5. Always clean your grill after use
Barbecuing regularly causes grease to build-up on the grill plates and collect inside the grease tray. If not cleaned, the build-up can then act as fuel and catch fire while the grill is in use. Clean your charcoal or gas grill after each use with a grill brush and empty the grease tray when it begins to fill up.
6. Never leave your barbecue grill unattended while in use
Never leave the grill unattended while you are cooking food. You should never walk away from your barbecue while it’s in use. Barbecues use high heat and open flames to cook food, and when left unattended can become a safety and fire hazard. If you must leave the grill, ask another adult to watch the grill for you.
7. Wear appropriate clothing
Articles of clothing that have long sleeves or pieces that dangle can catch fire easily when too close to an open flame. When grilling food, wear clothing that won’t interfere with the cooking process and make sure that any apron strings are tied back away from your front. If a piece of clothing does catch fire, remember to stop, drop, and roll to extinguish the flames quickly.
8. Keep a spray bottle on hand
It’s common for grills to flare up as fat drips from meat as it cooks, and this can cause a section of the grill to remain on fire as it burns away. If left alone, the flames will continue to burn and cause excess smoke to billow out from under the lid. Keep a spray bottle filled with water beside your grill so that you can quickly extinguish smaller flames before they spread.
9. Always have a fire extinguisher close by
In the event that a fire does break out, follow these tips on how to put out a grill fire and ensure you have First Alert EZ Fire Spray within reach. It is simple to use, just point and spray to extinguish the fire. EZ Fire Spray is also quick and easy to clean up after use. It’s small, compact size makes it the perfect addition to your grilling set to help keep your loved ones safe.
Following these charcoal and gas grill safety tips and having the right protection will help you and your family enjoy a safe grilling season all summer long.