Grilling is one of America’s favorite summer pastimes. However, when accidents and emergencies occur, it stops being fun. Here are three questions you may ask if you are wondering how to improve grill safety.

What Makes a Safe Grill?

A safe grill is clean, stable, and functional. A grill with grease and food particles caked up on the grates is a hazard for sanitation and safety reasons. Oil is flammable, so a dirty, greasy grill increases the risk of burns from flare-ups when grilling.

Where Should I Put My Grill?

The safest place to put a grill is out in the open, away from other objects. There should be a 10-foot radius of clearance around a grill, away from houses, fences, trees, and deck railings. Also, establish a 3-foot circle around the grill as a “grilling zone” that children shouldn’t enter. It’s best to grill in an area that doesn’t have anything overhead, like an awning, roof, or even tree branches. Flames from the grill can be unpredictable and catch something nearby on fire in a flare-up.

How Can I Avoid Common Grill Safety Hazards?

There are several common grilling hazards that are easily avoidable. By following these simple precautions, you can protect yourself and your guests at a cookout.

  • Check the grill for gas leaks. The hose that transfers the gas from the tank to the grill wears out over time and may develop cracks and holes. If you haven’t used the grill in a while, check the hose and connections for leaks first. Combine some dish soap and water to form a soapy solution. Apply it on the hose and the connections. Once you open the gas valve, you may see bubbles form, and that means that gas is leaking out. Replace the hose with a new one.
  • Wear short sleeves and pull back long hair. Long, loose sleeves can catch on fire if they dangle into the flames. For safety, wear tight-fitting or short sleeves and tie-back hair and apron strings.
  • Keep children and pets out of the grilling vicinity. If possible, keep kids and pets away from the grill by leaving them supervised inside or in another part of the yard.
  • Prepare everything in advance. If you prepare all your food in advance, you won’t have to go back inside and leave the grill unattended.

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