Grilling food is one of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful spring weather, and one of the most popular ways to cook food. But grill placement, lighting technique, and proper coal disposal are key to keeping your grill from causing a fire or burn injury -- improperly disposed ashes started a fire causing an estimated $65,000 in damages to this Saint Paul home last month.
Here are a few simple tips to stay safe while grilling.
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
- Keep grills away from your home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep a 3 foot safety zone around your grill to keep children and pets safe.
- Clean your grill after each use – leftover grease or fat can be a fire hazard.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
- Before the first time you use your grill each year, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying soapy water. When you turn on the gas, if there are bubbles, there’s a leak – turn off the gas and repair it.
- Always make sure the grill lid is open for at least 15 minutes before lighting it. If the flame goes out, turn it off and wait at least 15 minutes before trying to reignite it. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call 911.
In this video, ESPN SportsCenter anchor, Hannah Storm, describes her experiences surviving a grilling accident that left her with burns to her face, neck, hands, and chest.
- NEVER use gasoline to light a grill! If you choose to use lighter fluid, make sure it is charcoal lighter fluid and only use it before you light the fire – never after the fire’s already going. Keep charcoal and lighter fluid away from children and all heat sources.
- When you’re done grilling, let the coals completely cool and dispose of them in a metal container with a lid. Improperly disposed of coals is the most common cause of fires from grilling.