One of the highlights of summer is definitely gathering around the grill for some good ol’ fun and barbecue. While its certainly not hard to have a good time with family and friends around, the art of grilling can be quite complicated. To have a great summer, free of grill fires, here are some safety tips from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association that you might find interesting.
1. Watch What You Wear
While it might seem trivial, “Do not wear anything with hanging shirttails, frills, or apron strings” (HPBA) is definitely a tip you want to adhere to. I once completely caught fire when a long and flowy blouse I was wearing ignited from the high flames being projected by a stove I was too close to. So, watch what you wear next to any sort of fire and remember to also always wear flame-retardant grilling mits!
2. Be Prepared
“Use banking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy.” (HPBA) We’ve all heard the motto, ‘plan for the worst but expect the best,’ and it definitely rings true for a situation like this. To be extra cautious try keeping a small box of baking soda, they usually run for about $1, next to your grill or outdoor stove. Many people’s first instinct would be to put out a fire with water but in a case involving grease or oil water can actually antagonize the fire. Baking soda, sand, or a commercial extinguisher are your safest bets.
3. Turn Everything Off
“When cooking is completed, be sure to turn off the fuel supply and then turn the burners to ‘off’.” (HPBA) Its easy, when eager to get started on enjoying that delicious barbecue, to forget that not only do you need to turn off the burners on the grill, the gas also needs to be cut off. When using a charcoal grill, make sure the charcoal is completely cooled before closing the top and walking away.
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