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Grill Safely With These Outdoor Cooking Tips

Grilling
Grilling by Luis Quintero

Grilling food is a fun pastime, and it’s ideal on those summer days when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen. But every year, there are accidents and home fires because people don’t grill safely. Follow these tips to make sure you and your household don’t become one of those statistics.

Avoid Grilling on Dangerous Days

It’s not the time to grill if winds are super high, as just a spark can ignite dwellings and landscaping. This is especially important in drought areas, where trees and plants may be tinder dry due to lack of water. Your fire department may even have warnings, such as black flag or red flag days, when grilling or other types of outdoor fires are not allowed.

Place Your Grill in a Safe Place

Use your grill in the safest location possible. Ideally, that’s on a paved surface or sandy area, not on a wood deck or forested area when camping. Also, move your grill away from any structures, so if flames grow, they don’t touch anything.

Never Leave Your Grill Unattended

It takes only a second for a stray ember to catch your home or a neighbor’s home on fire. Always keep an eye on your grill once it’s been lit. Rotate with someone in your household if you need to go inside.

Clean Your Grill Before Every Use

Scraping down your grill with the appropriate tools can remove old oils and drippings that could ignite and cause a fire. This will make your food look and taste better too.

Only Use Fire Starting Fluid on an Unlit Grill

If you need to use a flammable liquid to start your fire, only use it on cold, unlit charcoal briquets. Never add a fire starter to a grill once it has ignited, even if it looks like it’s not burning much. You run the risk of burns from fire arcing from the grill to your hand. Never use any kind of flammable liquid in conjunction with a gas grill.

Have Fire Control Measures Nearby

Keep proper fire suppression methods handy when using your grill, whether that’s a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or bucket of sand. The type of fire control you choose should depend on the kind of grill you’re using (charcoal vs. gas vs. campfire).

Dispose of Ash Properly

When your grilling is done, you may wind up with ash that needs to be discarded. Like with your fireplace ash, you need to dispose of this correctly. Never use a plastic or other type of flammable container to hold ash, even if it appears the fire is out. Instead, use a metal bucket or stony part of the yard to contain old ash.

Let it sit for a week or two for good measure before disposing of ash in your trash. It can take days for embers to completely die out. Every year there are trash and house fires because unaware or careless property owners don’t dispose of ash properly.

And, even when you're careful, it's still important to be properly insured. Make sure you have the right protection in place. Call Strahan Insurance Services at 510-450-9050, or get in touch online.