Grill Safety Tips for Summer Cooking Fun
With the summer months upon us, you’ll want to enjoy the fun that comes from cooking outdoors on the grill. While grilling can be a fun way to cook, especially for a large group of friends or family, each year grilling accidents send about 17,000 people to the hospital! We have some quick tips and precautions that you can take to ensure a safe grilling experience for everyone!
First, before you even begin grilling, check the hoses and valves for any gas leaks – the best way to do this is to put soapy water where the hose connects to the valve. You’ll be able to see any gas leaks underneath the soapy water. You’ll want to make sure that your grill is on a hard, stable surface, preferably concrete or on the grass. Make sure that your grill is approximately six to eight feet away from you house or any other structures in the area. Also, be sure that your guests – especially children and pets – maintain a safe distance of about three feet. Any closer than that and they run the risk of getting burned!
If you’re lighting a gas grill, make sure it’s actually lit before you close the lid as gas can build up underneath if the grill isn’t lit, creating a dangerous situation. If you smell gas, don’t light the grill! The choice of grilling tools is also very important: regular kitchen spatulas and tongs aren’t long enough to use for grilling. Choose tongs, forks, and spatulas that are specifically made for grilling out, will keep you safe. If your grill uses coals, make sure to give them plenty of time to cool down, about twenty-four hours, before disposing of them. After they cool off, place them in a concrete or metal bin to ensure proper and safe disposal.
If you’re grilling with propane, make sure to clean your grill of any excess grease or fat residue buildup. Whatever grill that you’re using, avoid placing it near overhanging branches because those are a big fire hazard. Grills are often placed on decks but if you can, place the grill a few feet from your house instead of grilling out on an attached porch or deck. For added protection, the person who is grilling should wear a heavy-duty chef apron to protect him or herself from any hot liquid that may splash-back. Provide your grilling chef with oven mits to protect their hands.
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