The annual average of fires caused by grills is just over 10,000. Gas grills cause more fires then both charcoal and electric grills. Avoid a fire and follow these nine steps to make sure your home is safe when you start barbecuing.
1. Grill outside and away from any structures
It is important for your grill to be placed in an open space which is away from any overhanging branches or under your house.
2. Make sure your grill is stable
Your grill should be a flat surface and anchored down to ensure it won’t tip over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter matt underneath your frill to protect a deck or patio.
3. Keep your grill clean
Remove and grease or fat build up from the grill and the tray below the grill often. If you are using a charcoal grill make sure the coals are completely cooled off before disposing of them in a metal container.
4. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill
Before the season’s first barbecue, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.
5.If the flame goes out, wait to re-light
If your flame goes out on a gas grill, turn the grill off and wait at least 5 minutes to re-light it. This gives the extra gas time to disperse being reigniting.
6. Take care around the grill
Never leave a lit grill unattended. Don’t allow kids or pets to play near the grill. Never try to move a lit or hot grill, and remember the grill will stay hot for at least an hour after use.
7. Be careful with charcoal starter fluid
If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If the fire starts to go out, don’t add any starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Consider using a charcoal chimney starter, which uses newspaper to start the fire instead of starter fluid.
8. Wear the right clothing
Clothing can easily catch fire, so be sure your shirt tails, sleeves or apron strings don’t dangle over the grill.
9.Be ready to put out the fire
Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand next to the grill. Never use water to put out grease fire.