There’s nothing better than food fresh off the grill on a warm summer day. Rather grilling is a hobby or just an occasional cooking method you use, safety should be your top priority. It’s easy to become too comfortable and forget about safe grilling habits, but we’re here to help you remember!

The Basics of Grill Safety

Before we dig into some more hidden dangers of grilling, let’s refresh on the basics. You should never leave your grill unattended when it’s lit. Never let children around your grill when it’s on or still hot. Don’t forget: grills take a full hour to cool off. Keep yourself safe by wearing clothing that isn’t too loose. Loose pieces or hanging strings can go into the grill and catch fire. Don’t grill while you’re intoxicated or distracted.

Fire Prevention

To prevent your summer grilling from starting a fire, be mindful of where you place the grill. Your grill should be far away from any houses, garages, patios, or other flammable structures. Place the grill on a level surface to prevent it from tipping over while you grill. If a fire does occur, make sure you have the tools close by to put it out. You can use baking soda, a fire extinguisher, or sand to put the fire out. Never pour water on a grease fire, it will only make it worse. You should always keep one of these fire extinguishing methods close by when you’re grilling. Ideally, you’ll never have to use them, but at least you know it’s there.

Cleaning

A clean grill is a safe grill. After each use, you should use a grill cleaner to scrape away any remaining grease and charred food scraps. Empty the grease trap once it’s cooled. If you’re using a charcoal grill, clean out the charcoal completely after each use. Keep the area around your grill clean too. That includes trimming any low hanging trees, removing falling hazards, and maintaining a clean surface for the food once it’s been cooked.
If you’re new to grilling, you should enlist the help of a more experienced grill user to show you the ropes. Don’t forget to check the internal temperature of all food before you serve it and last but not least, have fun! Summer grilling is an American tradition that will be passed on for generations to come, but it’s your job to make sure you pass on these safety tips too.