Last updated on May 16th, 2017 at 02:40 pm
Even though it’s only the beginning of May, summer is on the horizon. And when I think of summer, especially here in New England, a few things come to mind. Conveniently, they all begin with “B”: beach, baseball and barbecues.
But before we get to firing up the grill in anticipation of Memorial Day Weekend cookouts, it’s a good idea to refresh ourselves with some basic safety guidelines. After all, nearly 5,700 grill fires take place on residential properties each year, and no one wants their BBQ to be remembered as the one that went up in flames.
Before you cook
- First and foremost, any propane or charcoal grill should only be used outside
- If last year’s drippings tray is caked with grease or fat buildup, consider replacing it. Keep the tray clean throughout the season by removing any grease/fat after each use.
- If using a propane grill, carefully check the hoses to and from the gas tank and look for any cracks or holes. Tighten the hose if it’s loose.
- If starting a charcoal grill, only use lighter fluid design for grilling. Do not use gasoline or other flammable liquids
While you cook
- Once your grill is lit, let it heat up a bit before putting any food on. If there’s lingering residue from last time, the heat will burn it off
- If you smell gas, turn the grill off immediately
- Use long-handed utensils to avoid burning yourself
- Keep children away from the grill while it’s on
- You should be able to put the flames out at a moment’s notice, so it’s a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher nearby
- This goes without saying, but never leave your grill unattended
- Give the grill ample time to cool off before letting anyone near it. Even once the grill is turned off, it can still be quite hot
- When the grill has safely cooled, scrub the grates with a wire brush to remove any cooking residue
- If you’re using a charcoal grill, allow the ashes to cool for at least 48 hours before disposing. When disposing, wrap the ashes in tin foil and place in a non-combustible container
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