Thousands of people are injured every year while grilling. Practice grill safety to prevent accidents and host a safe cookout. Following these simple tips will help you avoid most of the common grill-related hazards.

1. Keep the Grill Away From the House

The grill should be at least 10 feet or more from the house or any structure. Since a grill is a fire hazard, keep it well away from any structure that could catch on fire. This includes fences, overhangs, and roofs. Move the grill away from other obstacles before using it, whether it is fueled with charcoal or gas.

2. Clean the Grill for Grill Safety

When you’re cooking meat, fat and grease build up on the grill. Since grease and fat can easily catch fire, it’s important to clean the grill after each use. Keep a grill brush handy and clean the grill after using it. Wait until the grill is off and cooled down before cleaning.

3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy

If you do run into any problems with flare-ups or fires while grilling, a fire extinguisher is your best tool. Make sure that you know how to use the fire extinguisher and that it’s up-to-date. Keep a fire extinguisher near the grill so that it’s available if needed.

4. Monitor the Grill for Safety

Once the grill is going, never leave it unattended. For example, you may turn on the grill and then run inside to grab your hamburgers. It’s best to keep an eye on the grill at all times when it’s on. Make sure that you have all you need before starting the grill or ask someone else to grab any needed items that aren’t within easy reach.

5. Check for Gas Leaks Periodically

Gas leaks are not a concern for a charcoal grill. However, if you have a gas grill, check that there are no leaks in the system before using it. It’s best to do this at the beginning of the grilling season, especially if it’s been a few months since using the grill.

Make a solution that’s half dish soap and half water. Rub the solution on the grill hoses and connections. Turn the gas on and take note if any soap bubbles form. This is a sign that there are holes or the grill connections are not tightened.

Finally, grill safety is dependent on being careful about how you use the grill. Follow these tips and take good care of your grill for incident-free gatherings all season long.

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