Spring is here and it’s time to move the grill out of the garage and fire it up for family gatherings. When preparing food outdoors, keep your family and your property safe. Here are a few important grilling safety tips to use during cookouts.

Keep the Grill Away from the House

Your barbecue is only intended for outdoor use. Using it indoors increases the risk of fire and may cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Set the grill in an area where it is at least 10 feet away from your house. Using open flames to prepare food too close to any structure is a fire hazard. Keep the grill away from lawn furniture and set it up away from awnings, low-hanging tree branches, and patio umbrellas. If the fire gets out of control, nearby structures could be at risk. If you have the grill on a deck, keep a fireproof mat underneath.

Grilling Safety Tips: Keep it Clean

Before using the grill for the first time this season, clean it thoroughly. Use a metal brush to scrub the grates clean, removing any hardened food residue and grease. Clean your grill after each use. Waiting until the next time you want to grill makes it more difficult to clean. Letting fat and grease accumulate also creates a fire hazard.

Inspect for Gas Leaks

Looking for gas leaks is one of the most important tips for keeping your grill safe. A fuel leak might lead to an explosion. Test for leaks by mixing a 50/50 solution of water and liquid dish soap and apply this solution to all connections and hoses. Open the grill lid and turn on the gas. You’ll be able to tell that your hose has a leak or if your connections need to be tightened if you see soap bubbles forming.

Grilling Safety Tips: Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

Buy a fire extinguisher and keep it near your grilling area. Make sure you and your family members know how to use the device properly.

Open the Lid Before Turning on the Gas

Don’t turn on the propane if the lid isn’t open. A closed grill lets gas build up beneath the lid. This can cause an explosion when you light the grill.

Grilling Safety Tips Caution Against Overloading the Grill

Overloading a grill with food makes flare-ups more likely, especially when cooking fatty meats. The grease drippings act as fuel for a fire when they drip into the flames.

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