Grilling safety 101: Keep the cookouts fun and injury-free
May 24, 2018 / in Wellness / by UK HealthCare
Cookouts and barbecues are a staple of the summer season, but each year, grilling accidents cause nearly 10,000 home fires and send 16,000 people to the emergency room. Fortunately, following a few grilling safety tips can keep the focus on good food and fun, not on first-aid:
- Use grills outside only. Even small grills used inside create fire hazards, plus they release carbon monoxide, which can be fatal to people and pets without proper ventilation.
- Keep the grill away from the home, deck railing, overhanging tree branches and any flammable decorations. Make sure nothing flammable can blow onto the grill.
- Use the right lighter fluid for your grill, and store it away from the heat and out of the reach of children.
- Establish a child- and pet-free zone. Make sure children and pets are indoors and/or being supervised by someone other than the cook. And keep them at least three feet from the grill. Burns from contacting a hot grill are especially common in kids under 5.
- Clean the grill well before use. Grease and fat can build up on the grill and contribute to fires.
- Don’t overload the grill. Excess fat dripping on the flames can cause major flare-ups.
- Keep a spray bottle of water handy. Use it to douse small flare-ups before they get out of control. The bonus? Water won’t ruin the food.
- Never leave your grill unattended. And remember that charcoal grills can stay hot for hours after use.
- If your flame dies down, add dry kindling. Never add lighter fluid once the flame has been lit.
When using a gas grill
- Make sure the lid is open before lighting it. This prevents flammable gas from being trapped in the chamber, which can cause an explosion.
- If you smell gas and the flame is off, turn the gas off.
- If you smell gas while using a gas grill and the flame is on, get away immediately. This is a sign that there is a leak. Call the fire department, and stay away from the grill.