How to Protect Yourself, Your Loved Ones, and Your Property During Summer Barbecue Season
As the Summer months approach, thoughts of swimming pools, fireflies, long walks, and -- you guessed it! -- Summer barbecues with our friends and loved ones come to mind for many of us. We've patiently waited months to get out our favorite grilling recipes, put on our grilling aprons, and fire up the grill for a round of our favorite burgers, hot dogs, and barbecue chicken. Before sending out invites for your annual Memorial Day barbecue, take a look at the following tips to ensure that you have a safe and successful grilling experience all Summer long.
Never leave a lit (or hot) grill unattended
Please remember to keep all children and pets away from your grill when it is hot and in use. Once you have finished grilling, it will take at least an hour to cool, so keep this in mind if your children are playing outside after dinner.
Wear proper grilling attire when manning the barbecue
Clothing can easily catch fire near the open flame of a grill, so make sure to keep shirt tails, sleeves, drawstrings, and apron strings safely tucked in and away when serving up the perfect burger. It is also a good idea to wear grilling gloves and use grilling tools in order to protect your hands and arms from the flames.
Clean the grill before using
In order to avoid a grease fire or monstrous flames, it's best to do a quick scrub of your grill before every use. The tray below the grill grates accumulates highly flammable fat and drippings that you will need to periodically clean, as well.
Be mindful of your grill's location
Many a fire has been started due to homeowners placing their grills on or near structures, such as car ports, garages, porches, exterior balconies, terraces, or screened-in porches. It is vital that you place your grill in an open space outside that is at least 10 feet away from your house and far away from any tree branches or limbs. Also, please make sure that your grill is on a flat surface and is in no danger of tipping over.
Be prepared for flames
A great tip is to keep a box of baking soda (to extinguish grease fires) and a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand (for all other fires) in close proximity to your grill in case things get out of hand. Although it seems counter-intuitive, you should never use water to put out a grease fire.
Check your propane tank for leaks
An easy way to check for leaks is to use a solution of 50% dish soap and 50% water. Simply rub the solution on all of the grill's hoses and connections, open the lid of the grill, and turn on the gas. If you see big bubbles after turning the gas on, this indicates a potential leak in your tank.
Open your grill's lid before lighting
It is imperative that you never light your grill while the lid is closed. This could cause gas to build up inside the grill, creating the potential for a huge flame or fireball to attack you when you light the grill.
Be careful not to overload the grill
To lower the chance of a grease fire when cooking, make sure not to put too many burgers or hot dogs on your grill at once. We know -- everyone is STARVING! -- but safety always comes first at the family barbecue.
Don't walk away for the night without checking and double checking
Please remember to turn of all grill burners AND the fuel supply before going inside for the night. Forgetting to do this is a common, yet dangerous, mistake -- it's easy to forget this important step after a fun and exhausting day in the sun!
We hope these tips help to make all of your Summer barbecues a huge success. Happy grilling!