It’s summer time, which means it’s prime time for cookouts! But let’s go over a few grill safety tips first. According to the United State Fire Administration (USFA), each year fire departments respond to thousands of home grill fires that end up causing millions of dollars in property damage.
Keep in mind the following rules for outdoor barbecues, especially when you have kids running around the yard and you’re cooking on the grill at the same time. These simple grill safety tips can help prevent accidents and make sure all of your backyard BBQs stay fun and safe.
GRILL SAFETY DO’S: SAFE GRILLING WITH KIDS NEARBY
DO be aware of the risks that come with grilling, including:
- Gas explosions
- Oil flare-ups
- Not disposing of cinders (hot ashes) properly
- Undercooked meat
DO position your grill well away from siding, deck railings, out from under eaves and overhanging branches, and a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
DO create a “kid-free zone” around the grill. Allow 3 feet of space on all sides and teach your children to keep out of that area (pets, too!). Make sure your kids know the rules for staying away from the grill and why.
DO keep matches and lighters away from your kids. As they grow older, teach them how to use these items in a responsible way, with safety always the #1 priority.
DO use a meat thermometer to make sure all food is cooked thoroughly, to help avoid food poisoning.
DO dispose of hot ashes in a safe place that can’t be accessed by young children.
DO know where your fire extinguisher is. Make sure it’s in working order in case of an emergency.
GRILL SAFETY DON’TS: WHAT TO AVOID
DON’T leave kids alone outside when your grill is hot or turned on. Always supervise young children when using your grill.
DON’T bring your grill indoors or into enclosed spaces, like garages or tents. Indoor or enclosed grilling poses a fire hazard and risks exposure to dangerous carbon monoxide fumes.
DON’T forget to clean your grill after each use. This helps prevent flare-ups the next time you use it. Also be sure to clean up grease or fat buildup in the trays under the grill to prevent fires.
As they get older, many kids like to help cook. Take this interest as your chance to teach them how to grill responsibly. Make sure they know the above safety tips, as well as your family rules for using the grill: At what age are they allowed to use it? When can they start using the grill alone or with friends? Teaching your children grill safety from a young age will help them know how to make good decisions as they grow up.
I hope you have many delicious—and safe—backyard cookouts this summer!
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