Millions of people will be firing up their BBQ grills as an ode to summer, one last hoorah with the Fall season fast approaching. Are you planning on throwing a Labor Day BBQ? Before you heat up the grill for the last big cookout of the summer, check out the following outdoor grilling safety tips.
1. Use only natural gas, charcoal briquettes or propane.
2. Keep your grill clean. Remove grease buildup from both the grill and the tray.
3. Keep the grill at least 10 feet from buildings or structures. Do not use grills in garages or on apartment balconies.
4. Never turn on gas with the grill lid closed.
5. Keep children and pets away from the grill while it’s in use.
6. Be ready to put out a fire. Keep a fire extinguisher near the grill. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand nearby. Never use water to put out a grease fire.
7. If you use a charcoal grill, allow the coals to cool before safely disposing of them.
According to the The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly 17,000 people are sent to the emergency room every year due to injuries involving outdoor grills. One of every six home structure fires in which ignition type grills were involved were caused by something catching fire next to the grill.
Check Wire Grill Brush
When was the last time that you checked your wire grill brush? It's a good idea to always check wire grill brushes before using them, as they cause dozens of hospital emergency room visits each year. When the individual wires break off, they can become embedded in food. And once ingested, these wires can cause serious injury to the digestive system. Always check your wire grill brush before using it, inspecting the individual wires to ensure they are secured and not loose.
Don't Leave a Hot Grill Unattended
I know this probably sounds like common sense, but it's still worth mentioning that you should never leave a hot grill unattended. Doing so only increases the risk of a fire. If a stray ember escapes, it could ignite other nearby materials, placing your property (and wellness) in the line of danger.
The 10-Feet Rule
Whether you use a gas or charcoal grill, allow for a minimum of 10 feet clearance from your home or any other structure (for obvious reasons). Furthermore, you should remove any overhanging branches or debris that could ignite from a stray ember. Taking these considerations into mind when choosing a location to grill will reduce the risk of a fire.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
As the saying goes, hope for the best but prepare for the worst, is a good mantra to follow when grilling. If a fire breaks out, you should have a fire extinguisher readily accessible to neutralize it. Don't assume that water alone is enough to put out unwanted fires. Depending on what's ignited, and the size of the fire, water may not suffice. So, keep a fire extinguisher nearby when grilling this Labor Day.
Remember these easy to follow tips to ensure a safe and happy Labor Day! Enjoy!