A happy cookout is a safe cookout. Keep these grilling safety tips in mind whenever you cook outdoors.
- Barbecue grills, either charcoal or gas, are designed for outdoor use only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area because carbon monoxide may accumulate and kill you.
- Place the grill in an open area away from buildings, overhead flammable surfaces, dry leaves or brush. Also keep in mind that the heat from the grill can be harmful to the home siding, particularly vinyl siding.
- Before lighting the grill, be sure all parts of the unit are firmly in place and the grill is level and stable.
- Never leave a lit grill unattended.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher handy when cooking outdoors, granted you'll only want to use it in a real emergency when there is danger of a fire getting out of control, but you don't want to need it and not have it.
- Keep baking soda near to control small grease fires.
- It doesn't hurt to have the garden hose at the ready too.
- Keep a spray bottle filled with water next to the grill to put out small flare-ups, although it is generally better to quell these by putting the lid on the grill.
- Take care to wear clothing that does not have hanging fringe, loose shirt tails, strings, feathers or other elements that might catch fire.
- When lighting a gas grill, always open the lid before you start the flow of propane. Failure to do so can result in gas build up and explosion.
- Invest in a pair of long barbecue tongs to arrange hot coals. Even with the tongs, you will probably still need to wear a heavy pair of oven mitts to protect hands and arms from the heat of the hot coals.
- If you are using any electrical appliance or accessories such as an electric water pan smoker or a rotisserie, make sure they are properly grounded and that the cords are clear of walkways and other areas where people are likely to trip over them.
- Do not use electric appliances or accessories in the rain or around water.
- To prevent grease from staining patios, an absorbent grill pad is a nice addition to your barbecue accessory collection.
- The grill is hot and stays hot for a long time. Keep kids and pets away.
- Never attempt to move a hot grill.
- Charcoal briquettes/wood chunks require oxygen to burn, so the vents need to be open during cooking, however closing the vents after cooking will hasten extinguishing the fire.
- Never dispose of coals until you are sure they are COMPLETELY out. Coals can burns for hours and hours. Allow at least 48 hours before disposing of them. If you must move the grill before them, completely soak the coals in water to extinguish every hint of flame.
Lighter Fluids and Self Starting Charcoal
Because of the chemical additives, which can impart unwanted flavors in the food, we don't recommend using lighter fluid or self starting charcoal. Trust us, you don't need them, just click the this link for instructions on how to build a fire without them.
If you insist on using lighter fluid or self starting charcoal, please keep these important safety tips in mind.
- After dousing the charcoal or wood chunks with lighter fluid, wait until the fluid has soaked in before lighting.
- Replace the lighter fluid cap immediately after use and place the bottle a safe distance from the grill.
- Never add lighter fluid to existing hot or warm coals.
- Never use gasoline, or kerosene or other highly volatile fluids as a starter as they can explode.
- When using instant light briquettes, Do not use lighter fluid, electric, solid, or metal chimney fire starters with self starting charcoal.
- Do not add more self starting charcoal briquettes to a lit fire. Instead add regular charcoal briquettes if more are needed.