We love summer grilling, but please do it safely. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, grilling-related accidents cause an average of 8,900 fires and explosions annually, resulting in more than 16,000 emergency room visits, including some deaths. Although charcoal is generally considered safer than propane, both types of grills must be handled responsibly. Here are some grilling safety tips from Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center:
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors and well away from your home, deck railings, and out from anything overhead.
Keep children and pets away from the grill when you are cooking.
- Clean your grill regularly. Don’t let grease and fat buildup on your grill or trays. Grease is a major cause of flare-ups.
With propane grills, never turn the gas on with the grill cover closed. This causes the gas to build up and when you light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face.
- Charcoal grills can also create fire flare-ups if you douse them with too much starter fluid. And, you should only use charcoal starter fluid, or a chimney starter and newspaper.
- Never leave a grill unattended when cooking. If you can, have a fire extinguisher nearby.
- If you smell gas, or want to make sure you have no gas leaks, use the soapy water test. Make a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water, rub it on the hoses and connections. Then turn the gas on. If the soap forms large bubbles, that’s a sign there may be a gas leak due to small holes in the hose or a loose connection.