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Safety Tips for Outdoor Grilling

Summer is the best time of year to live in the Northwest: the sun is out and the weather is perfect for outdoor grilling with family and friends.

Unfortunately, too often we hear of a serious burn or other injury that could have been avoided; these tragedies are a good reminder to practice basic grill safety.

Grill Safety Tips

  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors. If you were not already aware of this, please do not operate a grill under any circumstances. Indoor grilling is a serious fire hazard, and a carbon monoxide poisoning risk. 
  • Position the grill in a well-ventilated area, away from the house and deck railings, and out from under eaves or any lower tree branches. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in a 4-year period thousands of fires were started because this simple precaution was not taken.
  • Keep kids and pets away from the grill and surrounding area: this is particularly important for charcoal grills, which tend to be less stable than propane grills.
  • Clean the grill. By removing grease and fat buildup from the grills and in the trays, you can increase the control you have over the flames.
  • Never leave your grill unattended once it is lit.
  • Be ready to extinguish flames. Remember that baking soda can be used to control a grease fire, and have a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Practice food safety. Keep meat and seafood cold until cooking—40 degrees or below—and keep meat and produce separate, including cutting boards and utensils. See more food safety tips.
  • Wear safe clothing – watch out for hanging shirt tails or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts.
  • Be ready to extinguish flames. Remember that baking soda can be used to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Don’t move a hot grill. It’s easy to stumble or drop it and serious burns could result

For more information on grilling safety, see the National Fire Protection Association tips.

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