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Grilling Safety 101

Summer is (almost) here, and you know what that means: outdoor grilling!

But before you fire up the grill and invite all your neighbors over, let’s take a moment to reacquaint ourselves with summer grilling safety. Trust us, a summer soiree is a lot more enjoyable with no fire hazards.

1. Grill outside and away from any structures.
Gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. However, the National Fire Prevention Association reports that more than one-quarter (27%) of home fires started by outdoor grills began in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and 29% started on an exterior balcony or open porch. Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when you set up your grill as they can catch fire as well.

2. Make sure your grill is stable.
Only set up your grill on a flat surface and make sure the grill can’t be tipped over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your uncovered deck or patio.

3. Keep your grill clean.
Remove grease or fat buildup from both the grill and the tray below the grill. Doing this decreases the risk of starting a grease fire.

4. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill.
Before the season’s first barbecue, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.

5. If the flame goes out, wait to re—light.
When using a gas grill and the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.

6. Take care around the grill.
Never leave a lit grill unattended. Don’t allow kids or pets to play near the grill. Never try to move a lit or hot grill and remember the grill will stay hot for at least an hour after use.

7. Wear the right clothing.
Clothing can easily catch fire, so be sure your shirt tails, sleeves or apron strings don’t dangle over the grill.

8. Be ready to put out a fire.
Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand next to the grill. And remember: Never use water to put out a grease fire.

Source: The National Fire Prevention Association
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