Nothing says summer like a good old fashioned barbecue, it’s a staple of the season without question.  Along with the food, friends, and fun comes potentially dangerous situations if you’re not careful.  Safety should always be a top priority and we’ve come up with a list of tips for you to keep in mind this summer.

  • One of the biggest dangers at a barbecue is the fire, which is why it’s important to keep a fire extinguisher or hose nearby at all times.  Whether you have a gas or charcoal grill, there is always risk involved so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Keep a spray bottle filled with water nearby for any small flare-ups.
  • You also need to be careful about where you place the grill.  Make sure it’s at least 10 feet away from any trees, bushes, or structures that could potentially catch, you never know when a grease fire may start and when the wind may blow it a little too far.  
  • Keep any unnecessary objects such as napkins or decorations away from the grill, they are another potential fire hazard.
  • Assign sometime to watch the grill if the cook needs to step away, you do not want to leave a fire unattended for any reason.
  • Make sure you clean your grill on a regular basis to avoid grease fires, which are not only dangerous but can be potentially deadly.  Pounds of grease can build up underneath your grill, and the more grease the more likely a grease fire is.
  • Keeps all meats, vegetables, and cheeses refrigerated as long as possible.  Bacteria grows quicker than you would expect especially in the heat.  If your food is out too long and goes bad, you’ll have some sick guests on your hands.  When it comes to meat, don’t take it out of the refrigerator until you’re about to put it on the grill.  Once you’re done serving everything put it back in the fridge right away.
  • Keep all children and pets away from the grill, there are a lot of hot surfaces that could cause some painful burns so make sure there’s no way any youngsters or furry friends can get close.
  • If you have a gas grill, check the connection between the grill and the fuel tank.  Make sure there are no leaks but don’t use a match to check for them.  If you do find a leak, turn off the grill and disconnect it immediately.  Don’t try and use the grill until the leak is fixed.
  • If you’re the one doing the grilling, give the grill your full attention and avoid drinking any alcohol until you’ve finished cooking.
  • Make sure all guests that will be drinking alcohol have a designated driver to get them home.

Keeps these tips in mind this summer before you fire up the grill!  Having fun is important, but safety is the top priority!

Photo By: Marion Doss