Holiday weekends are notoriously known as a summer send off before cooler weather and fall approaches. It’s the best time of year to have a cookout and spend time with loved ones. Which makes for the perfect opportunity for you grill masters to perfect your skills as football season starts back up. Before you hit the big burner it’s important to remember these safety tips (provided by the Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association) that can prevent your grillers paradise from turning into a disaster zone.
Grills are for outside, only.
Barbecue grills are designed for outdoor use, only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area because carbon monoxide may accumulate and kill you.
Use in well-ventilated area.
Set up your grill in an open area that is away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves, or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbecue in a well-ventilated area. Be aware of wind-blown sparks.
Follow electric codes.
If electrically-operated accessories are used (rotisseries, etc.), be sure they are properly grounded in accordance with local codes. Electrical cords should be placed away from walkways or anywhere people can trip over them.
Use long-handled utensils.
Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.
Wear safe clothing.
Wear clothing that does not have hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.
Keep fire under control.
To put out flare-ups, either raise the grid that the food is on, spread the coals out evenly, or adjust the controls to lower the temperature. If you must douse the flames with a light spritz of water, first remove the food from the grill.
Be ready to extinguish flames.
Use baking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy. A bucket of sand or a garden hose should be near if you don’t have a commercial extinguisher.
Consider placing a grill pad or splatter mat beneath your grill.
These naturally heat resistant pads are usually made of lightweight composite cement or plastic and will protect your deck or patio from any grease that misses the drip pan.
Never leave a grill unattended once lit.
Stay away from hot grill.
Don’t allow anyone to conduct activity near the grill when in use or immediately following its use. The grill body remains hot up to an hour after being used.
Don’t move a hot grill.
Never attempt to move a hot grill. It’s easy to stumble or drop it and serious burns could result.