Grill Safety Tips
Spring has sprung which means warmer weather and of course…grilling! My wife and I bought our first home back in October of this year and have been counting down the days until we could grill on our back deck. We came from living in a triple-decker in Boston with no outdoor space except our back deck on the third floor, which meant no grilling for safety purposes. Grilling on the third-floor back deck of an older building poses a serious fire risk. Now that I have a large back deck with nothing underneath it except the patio and lawn, I figured I was in the clear to grill as much as my heart desired. Just 2 days after purchasing my first ever grill, SERVPRO responded to a large house fire in Weston, MA. I was speaking to the neighbor who called it in and she let me know it was caused by their grill on the back deck. I immediately thought to myself, “How could this happen?” It was a devastating fire and it made me consider what needs to happen to safely operate a grill at your home.
- Put your grill in a safe location - never grill indoors and place your grill at least 10 feet away from your home. Be sure there is nothing above or around your grill at any time.
- Clean your grill regularly - clean it before each use to remove any grease buildup that could fuel potential fires.
- Check your grill for problems - pay special attention to your propane or gas line for leaks.
- Wear the right gear - wear gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself from heat but be sure clothing is not too loose.
- Be ready to put out a fire - have baking soda and a fire extinguisher close by just in case.
- Use caution when using lighter fluid - only use lighter fluid to start a charcoal grill and use it sparingly.
- Don’t turn on the gas while the grill is closed - do not let propane build up inside of a closed grill causing a fireball to occur when you ignite it.
- Never leave a grill unattended - not ever!
- Don’t overload your grill - more meat = more grease which can cause a flare-up.
- Use a meat thermometer - flame-licked meats can look done on the outside but are not cooked all the way through which can lead to food poisoning.
- Don’t cross-contaminate foods - don’t place your corn on the cob where raw meat was sitting to prevent possible cross-contamination.
- Always turn off your grill - create a routine when you are done cooking to be sure you have turned off the grill, fuel, or let charcoal cool safely.