Grilling is one of the most popular summer activities, but many people disregard grill safety. Accidents can happen while grilling, resulting in injury and damage to property. Grilling safely is simple, but takes some care and attention. Use these 5 tips to make your cookout safe for everyone.

Setting Up the Grill

Position the grill safely before you light it up. If you store it in the garage or on a covered deck, move it out into the open. The grill should be kept at least 10 feet away from the side of the house, trees, and other obstacles that could catch on fire. Use a fireproof grill mat underneath it to protect decks and patios from burns and grease stains.

Checking for Gas Leaks

Make sure your grill is in good condition before using it. One of the safety hazards that comes with a gas grill is the possibility of gas leaks. When hoses and connections are damaged or worn, gas can leak out of them. A simple way to check for gas leaks before lighting up the grill is to make a formula of water and dish soap and rub or spray it on the hoses and connections. Open the gas valve and look for any bubbles to form. Active bubbles mean that gas is leaking out. Fix the leak before using the grill.

Grill Safety Tips for Cooking

Use long-handled grill tools when cooking on a grill so you don’t need to get too close. Protect yourself by tying back long hair, rolling up your sleeves, and tying apron strings so they don’t dangle into the flames. Don’t leave the grill unattended for any amount of time once it is lit. If you have to step away, ask another responsible adult to tend to the grill.

Kids, Pets, and Grill Safety

Grilling in an area where kids and pets are running around underfoot is unsafe. They could knock the grill over and get seriously burned or start a fire. Have a plan in place to keep kids and pets out of the way. Keep them inside or in another fenced area of the yard.

Cleaning the Grill After Use

Cooking on a dirty grill is both unsanitary and unsafe. Grease buildup on the grill grates fuels the flames and can cause a flare-up. After using the grill, wait for it to cool down and then scrub the grates and remove any food particles. Your food will taste better and the grill will be safer to use.

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