With barbecue season already here, homeowners should heed the following safety precautions in order to keep their families and property safe.
- Always make sure that the grill is used in a safe place.
- If you use a lighter, make sure you don’t leave it lying around where children can reach it.
- Never leave the grill unattended, as this is generally when accidents happen.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby.
- Ensure that the grill is completely cooled before moving it or placing it back in storage.
- Ensure that the grill is only used on a level surface that cannot burn.
- Clean out the grease and other debris in the grill periodically.
- Don’t wear loose clothing that might catch fire while you’re cooking.
- Use long-handled barbecue tools and flame-resistant oven mitts.
- Keep alcoholic beverages away from the grill; they are flammable!
- Store propane tanks outdoors and never near the grill or any other heat source.
- Never store of transport them in your car’s trunk.
- Turn the gas all the way off after you have finished, and when you are changing the tank.
- Check for damage to a tank before refilling it.
- No more than 20-pound propane tanks are allowed on the property of a one- or two-family home.
- To inspect for a leak, spray a soapy solution over the connections and watch for bubbles. Replace the leaking parts before using the grill.
- Make sure connections are secure before turning on the gas, especially if the grill hasn’t been used in months.
- Ignite a propane grill with the lid open, not closed.
- When finished, turn off the gas first, and then the controls.
- Never use a charcoal grill indoors.
- Fill the base of the grill with charcoal to a dept of no more than 2 inches.
- Use only barbecue starter fluid to start the grill, and don’t add the fluid to an open flame.
- Let the fluid soak into the coals for a minute before igniting them to allow explosive vapors to dissipate.
- Charcoal grills are permitted on terraces and balconies only if there is at least 10 feet of clearance from the building, and a water source immediately nearby, such as a hose (or 4 gallons of water).
- Keep the charcoal lighter fluid container at a safe distance away from the grill.
- When cleaning the grill, dispose of the ashes in a metal container with a tight lid, and add water. Do not remove the ashes until they have full cooled.
- Do not use lighter fluid or any other combustible materials.
- When using an extension cord, make sure it is rated for the amperage required by the grill.
- The cord should be unplugged when not in use, and out of a foot path to prevent tripping.
- As always, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.