Labor Day weekend is a great time to celebrate summer coming to a close and the start of some mild fall weather. Many of us enjoy setting up a barbecue or grill in the company of family and friends. Yet while everyone is having a good time, it's important to keep in mind that that certain safety rules should be followed. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than half of grilling-related fires from 2001-2011 started on the deck, porch, or balcony of a residence, while 6% started in the kitchen. Let's go over some key points to keep everyone happy and safe during any cookout.
- Propane and charcoal grills are for outdoor use only.
- Make sure you grill a good distance from the house, deck railings and eaves, and bushes or overhanging tree branches.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the grills themselves and the trays below.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
The NFPA also has some advice for about the specifics of charcoal and propane grill safety:
- If you use starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add any fluids directly to the fire.
- Keep charcoal fluid away from children and a safe distance from any heat sources.
- If you have an electric charcoal starter, use an extension cord for outdoor use.
- When you're finished grilling, let the coals cool off completely. Dispose of the coals with a metal container.
And they haven't forgotten propane tanks, either:
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, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off 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.
So enjoy a tasty grilling experience with family and friends and stay safe out there!