Summer is the perfect time for cooking dinner on the grill. If you enjoy spending warm evenings with family and friends, use these tips for grill safety. Keep your loved ones safe while you enjoy burgers and hotdogs in the backyard.

Grill Safety: Keep it Clean

A clean grill is safer because there aren’t food particles and grease build-up that could ignite and start a fire. Clean the grill’s grates and inside the lid thoroughly before inviting friends over for the first cookout of the season. The food will taste better and you’ll be able to use the grill safely.

Don’t Leave the Grill Unattended

If you’re preparing food, never leave a warm grill unattended. Send someone else into the kitchen to grab ingredients you may have forgotten. It only takes a second for a grease fire to flare up, so it’s safer to save someone nearby to put the fire out immediately. Keep safety essentials, like a first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher, on hand so you’re ready for an emergency.

Keep Pets and Children Safe

Teach children to stay at least 5 feet away from the grill at all times. It’s helpful to have another adult present to watch pets and kids while you cook. Children should also learn that grilling utensils are not toys. Keep these items out of their reach.

Wear Clothing for Grill Safety

When using the grill, wear well-fitting clothing. Baggy sleeves can easily brush hot surfaces and melt or catch fire. Tie apron strings and keep long hair pulled safely back.

Position the Grill Away From the Home

It is recommended to keep the grill at least 10 feet away from your home and any outbuildings. Don’t cook on an enclosed porch and make sure there is nothing overhead. Tree limbs, an awning, or a patio umbrella can catch fire if grease on the grill flares up.

Check for Fuel Leaks

If you use a propane grill, check the hoses and connections for fuel leaks before cooking out this summer. One easy way to do this is to make a solution of dish soap and water. Rub the liquid on the hose from your fuel tank to the grill and on the connection points. Open the gas valve. If you see bubbling, don’t use the grill until the hose has been replaced and the connectors have been tightened.

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