It’s safety, people.
Whether you’re using charcoal, propane or some other form of live-fire grilling (Hibachi, anyone?), the key to a great outdoor barbecue is to remember to stay safe.
Here’s a short list of safety tips to hand over to the designated Grill Sergeant in your home:
- Charcoal Is Not Your Friend: About 30 people die and 100 or more are injured each year when grilling with charcoal. Charcoal produces carbon monoxide (CO) when burned. CO is a odorless, colorless gas that can rise to toxic levels in contained environments such as inside your home, a tent or camper. That said, never ever burn charcoal indoors even with good ventilation.
- Check Twice, Burn Nice: Since your propane grill has been sitting around since last summer, it’s best to check the tank valve, the tubes, any hoses and any connectors. Bugs can block tubes; hoses become brittle and can crack; and, a nicked gas connector can leak.
- Keep Your Friends Close, Your Grill Closer: Never (this bears repeating…NEVER) leave a grill unattended. Kids, pets, even flying Frisbees can lead to disaster if you’re not standing by the grill making sure that any and all accidents don’t happen.
- Keeping Things on the Level: Choosing a safe spot to place your grill is critical. You’ll want a flat, level surface as far away from the house as possible. Keep it away from vinyl siding, overhangs, eaves, deck railings, fences, shubbery and any outdoor furniture. You want to avoid burning your house as well as your hamburgers.
- Taming the Flaming: Putting out the fire is simple with a charcoal grill…cover the grill, close the vents and allow the coals and ashes to cool completely for at least 48 hours. Never pour water on hot coals. With a gas grill, make sure to turn off the gas tank, close the cover and let the grill cool overnight; cleaning up the grill can wait.
Take the proper safety precautions and this summer’s barbecues will be sure to be fun for all your friends and family (even Uncle Wally).