At Protectus Security, safety is our number-one priority. Although we specialize in installing home and business security systems in Dallas-Fort Worth we believe in practicing safety in whatever you do!
Summer Grilling Safety
Barbecuing, cooking out, grilling…whatever term you use, using a charcoal or propane grill is a classic summer tradition that results in fun times with family and friends and delicious steaks, chicken, vegetables, and more. But 16,600 people went to the emergency room with burns from grills in 2014. Two-thirds of all grill fires occur during the summer months. Read on to find simple ways to use your grill safely, so you can enjoy all its benefits without worrying about its risks.
Preparation is Key
Grills should be located at least ten feet away from landscaping and any portion of the house, including garages, porches, and patios that are attached to the building. Never grill under a wooden overhang, in case of a sudden burst of flames, and place the grill on a level surface to reduce the chance of the grill tipping over. Be sure to also store propane tanks far away from the house, and be sure they are completely turned off when you’re done using them. Make sure your grill is in an outdoor, open space where carbon monoxide will not build up. Never use gasoline to power a grill, and if you have a charcoal grill, use only lighter fluid designed for grilling. Make sure hanging baskets, pillows, umbrellas, and furniture are far away from the grill, especially since synthetic materials will burn fast and hot.
When you first pull out your propane grill for the year, check for blockages in the hoses, especially in the tube that runs to the burners, and clear any problems with a pipe cleaner. Feel along the hoses for brittle spots, and check for gas leaks by making a solution of one part water and one part dish soap and rubbing it over the hoses. Open the lid and turn on the gas. If any large soap bubbles form, that means there are cracks in your hoses, or the connections aren’t tight enough. Be sure your grill is clean and free of grease and fat build-up. Make sure hoses are away from hot areas and not in the path of any potential drips. Be sure to continue these inspection and cleaning practices throughout the season when the grill is cool. Go over grill safety practices with your children in advance of your first cook-out.
Before you start up your grill for a meal, be certain you’ve thoroughly planned all cooking steps and have laid out all the ingredients you’ll need within reach of the grill. Leaving a grill unattended for even a moment while you run inside to grab something could result in an emergency. Avoid overloading a grill, especially with fatty meats, as that can cause a sudden burst of flames. Never turn on a grill while the lid is closed, as this can cause gasses and fumes to build up inside and then release a fireball once the lid is finally lifted. Be sure to protect yourself with an apron and oven mitts that go up to your forearms, and use long-handled tools for stoking the grill and moving food around.
Keep pets, children, and adults who aren’t involved in the meal prep at least three feet away from the grill. It is also a good idea to have a fire extinguisher within reach just in case the fire gets out of control. If a large fire starts and you can’t get the fire extinguisher to work immediately, get a safe distance away and call 911. According to fire crews, many deaths and injuries occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of getting professional help right away. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately move away from the grill without touching it further and call the fire department. If the flame goes out while you’re cooking, turn off the grill and the gas and wait fifteen minutes before re-lighting.
The grill will remain hot for a while after use. Be sure all the parts have cooled before you try to clean it, cover it, and store it. Thoroughly soak coals from a charcoal grill with water before disposing of them. Be sure your grill is well-covered to prevent curious insects and critters from getting into it or chewing on the hoses.
In case of emergency
Call 911 if your fire gets out of hand and if your first attempt at using a fire extinguisher does not work. Remember that fires can double in size every minute they are burning. Even if a fire extinguisher is successfully employed, call the fire department so they can assess the scene and confirm that everything is ok. If someone receives a minor burn, treat it right away by removing any clothing or accessories from the area and running the burn under cool water. Do not cover burns with bandages, butter, ointments, or salves. For anything worse than a surface burn or if you have any doubts about how to provide care, call 911 or go to an emergency room right away.
We care about your safety and hope you have a fun and tasty grilling season! If you have any questions about fire safety, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
(Planning a vacation this summer? Let us keep an eye on your home while you’re away! Contact us about installing a home security system.)