Warmer weather is on the horizon, which means longer evenings and action-packed weekends are coming. That also means it’s time to get the grill warmed up in anticipation of summer barbecues. After all, you don’t want to spend your summer preparing meals in a sweltering kitchen.
Before you take to the grill this summer, make sure you have the right safety measures in place to keep you and your family safe. This barbecue safety checklist can help.
Keep Your Grill at Least 10 Feet From Structures
Make sure you’re away from your house, garage and shed, and avoid grilling under eaves or patio coverings. Also check for any overhead tree branches that could catch fire in the event of a flare up.
Stabilize Your Grill
Ensure grilling safety by keeping your grill on a flat surface where it’s less likely to move, slide or topple over.
Keep Pets and Children Away From the Grill
Maintain a safe distance between your grilling workspace and areas where kids and animals are playing. Likewise, teach young kids the importance of staying outside of the grilling area and to be mindful of where they’re throwing balls and other toys.
Wear Proper Clothing
Roll up your sleeves, tuck in your shirt and pull your hair back if necessary. If you’re wearing an apron, make sure the apron strings are tied and secured.
Keep Your Grill Clean
Proper maintenance is essential to grill safety. Use a good grill brush to clean the grates before and after each use, periodically remove buildup in the grease trays while you’re using the grill and check your grill’s instruction manual for specific maintenance needs.
Have a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Having a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it is an important fire safety tip that should be added to your barbecue safety checklist, too. Even a small grill fire can turn into a dangerous situation if you’re not prepared, so make sure your fire extinguisher is handy when you fire up the grill and have a plan for getting yourself and others to safety in case of a fire.
Don’t Leave a Lit Grill Unattended
Prep everything you need before you start the grilling action so you don’t need to leave the grill unattended while you’re cooking.
Avoid Grilling While Intoxicated
You might be tempted to partake in the festivities, but save your merrymaking until after the crew has been fed and the grill is shut down.
Use Propane Safely
If you’re cooking on a gas grill, check for propane leaks using the soap and water method recommended by the National Institute of Health.If a flame goes out when you’re grilling, wait at least five minutes before trying to re-light it. Never turn on the gas when your grill lid is closed. Do not store propane containers indoors or underneath your grill.
Use Charcoal Safely
If you’re cooking with charcoal, make sure you use proper charcoal starter fluid — not gasoline or kerosene. Keep starter fluid capped and away from your grill. Don’t add starter fluid to hot coals. Wait 48 hours before disposing of charcoal and ashes.
Make Sure You’re Covered
Your Farm Bureau agent wishes you a delicious and safe summer! Contact your Farm Bureau agent for your annual SuperCheck to make sure your home — and the people in it — are protected with the right insurance coverage.