Your Guide to Barbecue Safety


With the right grilling safety tips, you can keep yourself and your family safe while enjoying all those summer barbecues. The warmer weather, longer evenings and action-packed weekends are finally here. That means the grill gets a workout. After-all, you don’t want to spend your summer preparing meals in a sweltering kitchen. We’ve put together these refresher grilling safety tips for safe outdoor cooking. 

Keep your grill at least 10 feet from structure.

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.

Your grill should be on a flat surface and not be at risk for moving, sliding or toppling over.

Keep pets and children away from the grill.

Separate your grilling workspace from play areas where kids and animals might be running at full speed. Teach young kids the importance of avoiding the grill and being mindful of where they’re throwing balls and other toys.

Wear proper clothing.

Roll up sleeves, tuck in your shirt and pull your hair back if necessary. Make sure apron strings are tied and secured.

Keep your grill clean.

Follow your grill’s instruction manual for proper maintenance. Use a good grill brush to clean grates before and after each use. Periodically remove buildup in grease trays while grilling.

Keep a fire extinguisher within close reach.

Having a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it is one of our fire safety tips. However, even small fires can spread quickly so your biggest concern is getting yourself and others to safety and calling for help.

Don’t leave a lit grill unattended. Prep everything you need before you start the grilling action.

Avoid grilling while intoxicated.

You might be tempted to partake in the festivities, but save your merrymaking until after the crew has been fed.


Additional safety tips for gas grills: Check for propane leaks using the soap and water method, recommended by the National Institute of Health. If a flame goes out when you are grilling, wait at least five minutes to re-light. Never turn on the gas when your grill lid is closed. Do not store propane containers indoors or underneath your grill.

Additional safety tips for charcoal barbecues: 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.  


Your Farm Bureau agent wishes you a delicious and safe summer! For more summer safety tips, check out these six summer safety hazards.

Source: National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA)