Grilling Safety Tips
Whether you're lighting up a charcoal grill for the first time or you're a seasoned pitmaster, keeping in mind the fundamentals of grilling safely can help you make the most of your cookout. From properly inspecting your equipment to wearing the right clothing, put safety first this grilling season with these helpful tips from Sears.
Quick Tip: Always consult your grill's manufacturer's guide. While there are general grill safety basics to always keep in mind, the manufacturer's guide can answer questions about your exact product and its mechanisms.
- Make sure grills are allowed - Check with your landlord, homeowners' association and city before purchasing or using a grill. Some areas don't allow charcoal grills while othes don't allow grills at all. Make sure that you know the rules and regulations before you start.
- Read the owner's manual - These guides offer product-tested information that can help you stay safe while assembling, using and storing your grill.
- Regularly check equipment - Especially with gas grills, make sure that all of the parts are connected properly and working efficiently before you start.
- Grill in the open - Grill away from your home, sheds and other large structures. Stay at least 10 feet away from any buildings to prevent rapidly spreading fires.
- Cook off to the side - Stay away from busy spaces. If you're hosting a large barbecue, it's best if your grill is off to the side of and away from mingling guests.
- Be mindful of flammable substances - Keep flammable liquids and gases away from the grill. If you use starter fluid for charcoal, make sure to keep it stored several feet away from your grill.
- Store a fire extinguisher nearby - In case of an out-of-control flame or a rogue ember, be prepared to quickly handle it.
- Wear protective coverings - Wear a grilling apron, gloves and closed-toe shoes to protect your clothing and body from cinders and sparks.
- Use grilling utensils - The best grill tools are longer than kitchen utensils, which make it easy to stay further away while flipping burgers or rotating steaks.
- Set up a child-free zone - Children playing near the grill can accidentally bump into a hot surface or step on an ember. It's best to keep kids out of the immediate area and avoid potential accidents or injuries.
- Clean your grill after each use - Not only will you increase the longevity of your grill, you can also help prevent grease fires by making sure that you remove greasy residue from the grates and other parts.
- Wait before disposing of the ashes - It's best to wait 48 to 72 hours before removing coals and ashes from the grill for disposal, as there is a chance they can reignite.
- Don't grill under an awning or canopy - Ensure that there is nothing above the grill that could easily catch fire, including structures and plant life.
- Don't use gas or charcoal indoors - Opt for an electric grill if you need to grill inside your home.
- Don't leave your grill unattended - Make sure someone is always keeping an eye on the grill in case of popping embers, strong winds or other possible hazards.
- Don't add lighter fluid to an open flame - Only use charcoal starter fluid prior to lighting the fire of a charcoal grill. Once the fire is lit, the coals will ignite each other. Additional lighter fluid isn't necessary and can be incredibly dangerous.
- Don't wear jewelry or flowing clothing - Avoid wearing anything that could get caught in the grill grates or catch fire from high flames.
- Don't use the same grill utensils for raw and cooked foods - Prevent cross-contamination by using separate tools for raw and prepared foods.