Grilling Safety: Tips for Charcoal and Propane Grills

Nothing says summer quite like an outdoor barbecue with friends and family. Be sure to take the right precautions to keep this fun event safe. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reports that from 2011 to 2015 grills were involved in 9,600 home fires each year.

Help prevent this from happening at your barbecue with these tips:

  • Use grills outdoors only
  • Keep your grill at least 10 feet from your home, deck railings, and other objects
  • Ensure children and pets stay away from the grill area
  • Clean your grill after use by removing grease and fat buildup
  • Never leave your grill unattended while it’s being used
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher, and keep it next to your grill while you’re cooking

According to the NFPA, most grills involved in home fires are fueled by gas. You can ensure an extra layer of safety at your barbecue with these grill-specific tips.

Gas grill safety tips

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the grill. Check the instruction booklet to learn how to assemble, use, light, clean, maintain, and store your grill
  • Check for leaks by using a soapy water solution. Do this every time you replace a gas cylinder. Watch this video to learn how to check for leaks
  • Turn on the gas while the grill lid is open. A closed lid can cause gas to build up inside, creating a danger when you open the lid
  • Move away from the grill and call your local fire department if you smell gas while cooking. Do not try to move the grill
  • Store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright position. Not doing so can cause the gas to leak

Charcoal grill safety tips

  • Use only charcoal starter fluid with your charcoal grill
  • Let the fluid soak into the coals for two to three minutes before lighting them. This will allow the gas to evaporate
  • Cap the fluid bottle when finished. Keep the bottle away from children, pets, and heat sources
  • Do not add more fluid or other flammable liquids to the fire
  • Let the coals completely cool before disposing them in a metal container

We’re sure your barbecue will be a success and the food will be delicious. Be safe when cooking so that everyone has a good time!