We are officially in the middle of grilling season! Nothing says summer more than being with family and friends in the backyard playing games while enjoying hamburgers and hot dogs from the grill. Unfortunately, there comes some danger with grilling as the occurrence of grill-caused home fires increase drastically. Below are some tips to keep your home safe and decrease the chances of disaster:
Location is key: Placing your grill in the proper location is the first step in preventing disaster. This means one should set their grill well away from their home, overhanging branches, umbrellas, or any structure that can easily catch fire, such as a wooden porch. This also includes keeping your grill away from decorations that may come with hosting summer holiday parties and always remember to NEVER leave your grill unattended.
Check for leaks: Checking for gas leaks is not only necessary but can be very simple by using a few common household items. You can lightly apply soap and water to the gas line by using a brush or spray bottle. Turn on the propane tank; if there is a leak you will see noticeable bubbles around the house. If this occurs it is not safe to use the grill and you should get your grill serviced before using it again. If for some reason gas is still leaking even after turning the grill and propane tank off, immediately call the fire department and evacuate everyone from the premise.
Keep it clean: Another important aspect is keeping your grill clean from the natural grease build up that will occur. Grease is a major source for flare-ups so make sure you clean your grill before and after grilling occurs. This also includes replacing or cleaning the trays below the grill.
Always be prepared: Following the necessary precautions will drastically decrease the chance of a fire but sometimes disaster strikes with no notice regardless of what you do. In these cases, it always helps to be prepared. This includes keeping a spray bottle of water handy for small flare-ups and a fire extinguisher close by for bigger occurrences. If a fire does occur immediately call 911, get everyone out of harm’s way, keep a good distance and use the fire extinguisher.
Finally remember that using a propane or charcoal grill is illegal in apartment complexes. If you use a charcoal grill at home, the park, or tailgates remember to only apply lighter fluid before a flame has started. Additionally, always remember to let the coals cool before disposing of them.
Happy safe grilling everyone!