Outdoor Grilling Safety Tips

Summer means barbecues. Here are a few tips.

Gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills, the association adds. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 61 percent of households own a gas grill, 41 percent own a charcoal grill and 10 percent own an electric grill.

Regardless of the type of grill you own, here are 9 BBQ safety tips that will keep you and your home safe for barbecuing season:

1. Grill outside and away from any structures

Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. However, NFPA reports that more than one-quarter (27 percent) of home fires started by outdoor grills began in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and 29 percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch. Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when you set up your grill.

2. Make sure your grill is stable

Only set up your grill on a flat surface and make sure the grill can’t be tipped over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your deck or patio.

3. Keep your grill clean

Remove grease or fat buildup from both the grill and the tray below the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, allow the coals to completely cool off before disposing of them in a metal container.

4. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill

Before the season’s first barbecue, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.

5. If the flame goes out, wait to re-light

If you are using a gas grill and the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.

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