Barbecue season has begun – a time for cooking burgers, steaks and chops over open flames. Cookouts with friends or family are plenty of fun, but cooking on the grill poses some hazards. Here are some tips to keep everyone safe, whether you’re cooking with propane, charcoal or even wood.
Never grill inside
It’s disappointing when rain showers or thunderstorms ruin your planned barbecue. However, it’s never okay to bring your grill into the garage or other enclosed space, because grills release poisonous carbon monoxide. Always grill outdoors or in spaces with adequate ventilation. If you can’t arrange that, bring the food indoors and cook on your kitchen stove.
Keep a safe distance
Never set up your grill within 10 feet of your home, other flammable structure, or flammables such as clothing hanging on a clothesline. Grills emit intense heat and may flare up, so avoid using your grill beneath awnings, overhangs or on covered porches. Keep it out in the yard.
Clean the grill thoroughly
Every time you use the grill, grease and fat are deposited on the grate and sometimes on the walls or cover of the grill. Clean your grill before every use to prevent flare-ups. If you use a wire brush for cleaning, inspect the grill carefully for wire bristles that could get embedded in your food.
Fire Safety for Your Cookouts
Don’t leave it unattended
Grills cause nearly 9,000 house fires each year in the United States. Always stay within sight of your grill, and turn it off or douse the flames completely after the barbecue ends.
Know when to use nonstick sprays
Nonstick cooking spray can prevent foods from sticking to the grate, preventing food breakage and making them easier to flip. However, you should apply the spray before turning on your gas grill or lighting the charcoals. Spraying directly onto the flames can cause a huge flare-up and ignite flammable structures or clothing in a flash.
Exhibit due care
Keep children, pets, and people “under the influence” away from the grill. Any attempt at horseplay involving the grill or in its vicinity should be shut down immediately. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.
Keep a “fire-safe” attitude
With attention to these easy rules, you’ll have a safe barbecue season this spring and summer.
To protect your home and family from fire, install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and check them annually. To learn about life-safety systems for your home in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and the Outer Banks, call Johns Brothers Security at 757-852-3300.