5 Summer Grill Safety Tips

There’s no better smell than a grill cooking up dinner in the neighborhood. Grills are a great alternative for cooking but be aware of the risk potential they bring. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2014-2018, fire departments went to an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year. Whether you use a gas grill, charcoal grill or smoker, keep safety prevention in mind.  

Follow these grill safety tips to enjoy grilling out worry free.  

How far should grill be from the house?  

A grill should be 10 feet away from any surface, house or building. Grills reach excessive temperatures and can damage siding of your house causing it to burn or buckle if placed too closely or worse, start on fire. Make sure the grill is on a stable surface and firmly in place.  

Always grill outside 

You should never use grills in enclosed spaces such as a porch, garage, or shed. In addition to a serious fire hazard, using a grill inside can release dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, leaking colorless, odorless gas into an enclosed space. If you smell gas while cooking, step away and call the fire department.  

Never leave a grill unattended 

Grills reach extremely hot temperatures. Don’t leave a grill unattended where a child could touch or fall into the grill and burn themselves. In addition, keep an eye on the grill to make sure that flames don’t flare.  

Keep the grill clean 

Clean grease and fat build up from the grill grate and grease trap to prevent build up which could lead to a flare up or fire. If flames occur, be prepared to extinguish them with a fire extinguisher or baking soda for a grease fire.  

Be responsible when lighting a grill 

If you are cooking on a gas grill, never turn on the gas or light the grill with the lid closed. This can cause a dangerous buildup of gas internally. Remember to check for propane leaks in the tank hose.  

If you are cooking with charcoal, avoid using starter fluid if possible and use a chimney starter as a safer alternative. If you must use lighter fluid, only use it when starting the flame, do not continue to add fluid after the fire is started.  

Follow these grill safety tips to enjoy your backyard barbeque cookout safely. For more safety tips, contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent