Grilling Safety Tips For This July 4th

Many of us are grilling this Independence Day Holiday Weekend. Please be safe! Here are a few safety tips, from the good folks at, for you to keep in mind as you enjoy your holiday.

Grill, Smoker and Oven Safety

  1. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Water will only spread grease fires. The best extinguisher is rated ABC.
  2. Never cook with grills or smokers indoors or in garages. They produce invisible carbon monoxide and smoke that can kill you.
  3. Don’t keep your grill next to a furnace air inlet or even a window. The house is often under a negative pressure, and can suck in these killing gases.
  4. Don’t keep your grill close to your house or deck railings. Beware of overhanging roof lines or trees.
  5. Never use gas, paint thinner, solvents, or kerosene to start your charcoal. Chimneys or electric coil starters are the best way to start coals, but if you use charcoal starter fluid, once the coals are smoldering never squirt them with more fluid. The flame can climb up the stream and set you on fire.
  6. Don’t cook near gasoline or other flammables. Keep propane tanks at least two feet from the burners unless there is shielding.
  7. On gas grills, always lift the lid when you ignite the burners. If you have one burner lit and want to add others, it is safe, just open the lid. A gas buildup under the hood could blow it open and flash in your face.
  8. On kamados and eggs, the lid seal is very tight so when you open it, air rushes in and it can flash flame in your face. Stand back and open the lid slowly.
  9. Store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright position. If you smell gas, turn off the grill immediately.
  10. Handle hot grills, coals, and hot liquids with respect. Be alert. No horseplay near cookers.
  11. Keep children and pets away from grills and smokers, uncooked meat, hot liquids, and sharp objects. Use potholders and/or insulated gloves. Insulated gloves are best.
  12. Do not discard ash until the coals are thoroughly dead. Let them sit overnight or dump water on them before you put them in your trash can.
  13. Bare feet, sandals, flip-flops, and loose clothes are dangerous around grills.
  14. Don’t put small grills on flammable surfaces or glass tables.
  15. Before you use a new grill or smoker, fire it up on high and let it run for about 30 minutes to burn off any oil or grease or packing materials from the manufacturing process or from shipping. Save the grill manual and remember where you put it.
  16. If you have long hair, tie it in a pony tail. And grilling is yet another great excuse to not wear a tie.
  17. If you pour water over hot coals, it will produce enough steam to melt your nose, and enough hot water will come out of the bottom to melt your toes.
  18. Heat the grates to high before cooking and carbonized grease and scraps from your last cook. Then scrub them off. If you use a wire brush, beware that bristles can come out and people have died from wire bristles that lodge in their digestive system.
  19. Before the food goes on, use a damp cloth and tongs to wipe off the grates and visually inspect them.
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