If I could, I would grill year round. Not only do I do the standard steak, chicken and fish, but I’ve also gotten good at grilling fruit and my husband and I love grilled gourmet pizzas. But I’ll admit, I still freak out simply turning our gas grill on. The image of one of those cartoon characters holding up a match while everything burns around him to ashes always comes to mind. As silly as that might be, accidents from grills happens all too often.
Just this April, in Franklin, Wisconsin, a house fire causing $200,000 worth of damages was caused by a grilling accident. The back of the house caught on fire, spreading from the first to the second floor, and there were two children and one adult present at the time of the fire, none of whom were injured. This is certainly an example of an extreme accident, but it should serve as a reminder of how important it is to have a fire alarm system and follow these important barbecue safety tips.
The only place that is safe to grill is outdoors. A grill should never be used in a garage or a porch, or under any surface that has the ability to catch fire. The grill should be used away from deck railings and any low hanging branches.
Grills need to be cleaned frequently to ensure that they are free of grease and fat that can build up and start fires. The griddles and tray underneath should both be cleaned.
For your personal safety, all open flames such as matches and lighters should be operated far away from a lit grill. In addition, flammable objects, most notably sunscreen, should be applied or used a safe distance away from a grill in use.
Some grillers use charcoal and others use gas, and with each come specific safety precautions to be taken. Never burn charcoal inside and always let the coals cool completely. Do not store the grill inside with freshly burned coals and be sure to always keep the coals out of the reach of children.
As for gas grills, always be sure to check the hose for kinks or breaks in the line, and if a leak occurs the grill should be discontinued from use until it is fixed. Finally, never attempt to start a fire using the gas of the grill.
The most important thing to remember when utilizing any type of grill is to make certain children and pets maintain a distance of at least three feet from the appliance and to never leave a grill unattended.
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