Grilling Safety Tips

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) offers these suggestions for general grilling safety.Following a few basic steps can help ensure safe, reliable operation of your outdoor cooking appliance, regardless of what type you use. The following safety tips are designed to guide you through the grilling process. Remember, anytime you work with fire, there’s a chance of getting burned. So, take precautions. Common sense and planning will prevent injuries.

The main ‘ingredient’ for safety in outdoor cooking is common sense. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembling and using your grill, and contact the manufacturer if you have a problem or a question.

Read the owner's manual.
Always read the owner's manual before using your grill and follow specific usage, assembly, and safety procedures. Contact the grill manufacturer if you have specific questions. (Be sure to locate your model number and the manufacturer’s consumer inquiry phone number and write them on the front page of your manual.)

Grills are for outside, only!
Barbecue grills are designed for outdoor use, only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area because carbon monoxide may accumulate and kill you.

Use in a well-ventilated area.
Set up your grill in an open area that is away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves, or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbecue in a well-ventilated area. Be aware of wind-blown sparks.

Keep grill stable.
When using a barbecue grill, be sure that all parts of the unit are firmly in place and that the grill is stable (can’t be tipped over).

Use long-handled utensils.
Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.

Wear safe clothing.
Wear clothing that does not have hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.

Keep fire under control.
To put out flare-ups, either raise the grid that the food is on, spread the coals out evenly, or adjust the controls to lower the temperature. If you must douse the flames with a light spritz of water, first remove the food from the grill.

Be ready to extinguish flames.
Use baking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy. A bucket of sand or a garden hose should be near if you don’t have a commercial extinguisher.

Consider placing a grill pad or splatter mat beneath your grill.
These naturally heat resistant pads are usually made of lightweight composite cement or plastic and will protect your deck or patio from any grease that misses the drip pan.

Prior to lighting a gas grill, be sure to open the lid to prevent a buildup of gas.

Stay away from hot grill.
Don’t allow anyone to conduct activity near the grill when in use or immediately following its use. The grill body remains hot up to an hour after being used.

Don’t move a hot grill.
Never attempt to move a hot grill. It’s easy to stumble or drop it and serious burns could result.

Never leave a grill unattended once lit.
When cooking is completed, be sure to turn off the fuel supply and then turn the burners to ‘off.’

Inspect Your Grill – Often
Check your grill regularly for signs of wear and tear, particularly for hose cracks and possible leaks; also keep burners clear of dirt and insects that can block hoses or venturi tubes

Store Propane Tanks Properly
If you have an LP gas grill, always store your propane tanks outside and in an upright position.

Check Propane Tanks
Never use an LP cylinder if it shows signs of dents, gouges, bulges, fire damage, corrosion, leakage, excessive rust or other forms of visual external damage. It may be hazardous and should be checked by a liquid propane supplier