With Memorial Day behind us, the outdoor cooking season is well under way! Thousands of people are stocking up on charcoal and refilling their gas tanks for the always enjoyable summer barbeque. When grilling it’s always important to be aware of any safety risks. Every year, hundreds of people in the United States suffer painful and sometimes life-threatening burns that result from the careless use of outdoor grills. These injuries result primarily from the use of unapproved lighter fluids, such as gasoline, and when gas grills are improperly used. According to the Insurance Information Institute, backyard grilling accidents result in more than 2,000 fires, 300 grill-related injuries and 30 or more deaths in the United States each year. Before you put on that first steak on the grill there are a few precautions and tips you need to be aware of.

Safe Grilling Tips

  • Leave a sufficient space between the grill and eaves and overhangs. In multi-family construction, do not use charcoal or gas grills on combustible balconies or within 10 feet of any building.
  • Only use a grill on a level surface.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure that all hose connections are tight before cooking. Use a soapy water solution to safely reveal leaks on hoses and connections. Never use a hose with visible cracks.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions when using a grill.
  • Keep children away from grills. Grills, especially three-legged grills, can be easily tipped.
  • Always clean your grill before lighting.
  • Use charcoal for small pieces of meat and sausages. It gives a quick and strong heat.
  • For medium-sized pieces of meat, one should use both charcoal and briquettes.
  • For larger pieces of meat that need to be cooked slowly, use only briquettes.
  • A thumb of rule for grilling meats is: the larger the meat is, the greater the distance should be from the meat to the coals.
    For smaller pieces, the meat should be close to the coals.
  • When using a charcoal grill, use only lighter fluids that are designated for use for barbecue grills. Do not add fluid after the charcoal has been lit.
  • The appropriate way to light a gas grill is to open the lid and light the match or grill lighter and then turn on the gas burners. When you are finished cooking, turn off the propane cylinder valve then turn off the burners. Make sure the grill is cool before storing it.
  • The barbeque is ready only when the surface of the coals are gray and all the flames are gone. Drizzle the meat and the grill bars with oil when the grill is ready.
  • Never leave the grill on and unattended.
  • Wear a heavy apron and use a grilling mitt that fits over your forearm to prevent burns.
  • When using wooden sticks to hold meat on, soak the wood in cold water for about an hour or more so they don’t char so easily. Flat sticks are best for turning the meat over.
  • Do not store charcoal near combustible material or where it can get wet.
  • Do not store propane containers indoors.
  • Soak coals in water for 48 hours before disposing it in the trash.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher near by.
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