Grilling is the limelight of every outdoor party. Apart from balanced marination and having the best equipment to grill, you also need to adopt safety measures to keep yourself and everyone around you safe. You may think that safety measures are unnecessary while grilling but the National Fire Protection Association has something else to say. According to NFPA, some 19,700 patients went to hospitals due to grilling burns and fires. Some 2000 children were affected by grill burns. These burns were mostly related to touching the hot grill or grill parts or came in contact with hot coals. Careless grilling also resulted in almost 10,000 home fires per year.
The above-described situation is catastrophic, but you can avoid any such mishaps by taking appropriate safety measures for yourself and the kids as well. In this article, we will discuss all the grilling safety tips while especially highlighting the safety tips for kids.
Overall Grilling Safety Tips
Let’s start with the basic precautions for a grilling session.
Never Grill Inside – According to the stats given by NFPA, a majority of home fires due to grilling were a result of grilling inside your home or at terraces, patios, swimming pools, and courtyards. You must never do this. Make sure you set up your grill in an open area. Ensure that there are no overhanging trees on the top of your grill. Sometimes the fire can catch the leaves and tree branches when it is burning at full pace.
Stability of the Grill – Another thing to keep in mind is the stability of your grill. You should keep your grill on a flat surface. Check that it won’t trip with small pushes or jerks. If the ground below is not flat, consider using grill pads or matt pieces to make it balanced.
Check for any Leaks – If you are using a propane grill, make sure there are no leaks and the gas pipes, connections, and the propane cylinder are in perfect condition. It is better to check all these things before the start of the grilling season. You can check leakage with a soap water solution and a sponge. Dip the sponge in the solution and squeeze on top of the gas connections and wait for bubbles to appear. If you see any bubbles coming out, you have a leakage. Get your connections sorted out before grilling. The leaking propane smell is also a symptom of a leakage.
Avoid Overloading the Grill – No matter the size of your grill, never put more meat than it can accommodate. More quantity of food means more grease and oil on the grill. It can lead to a flare-up. Grilling a small amount at one time will also give you a better and properly cooked food.
Start with the Grill Lid Open – Never start a propane grill with its lid close. The gases will accumulate and can be very dangerous if inhaled. An open lid will allow all the gases to escape without causing any harm.
Be Attentive – Pay attention towards the center of attention in the gathering. You should never leave the grill unattended. Being the grill master, it is your responsibility to keep the kids away, don’t let anyone play anything near the grill, and ensure that all the adventurism is kept at bay from the grill. You should also focus on the meat bring grilled. A minute’s negligence can burn the food.
Keeping the grill Clean – Another vital thing to do is make sure that your grill is clean. You have to wipe off the grease and fat buildup from the grill. Charcoal grills don’t suffer from the grease problem. A very large quantity of grease and fat can sometimes lead to a fire in some cases.
Use the Fire Igniter Carefully – If you are using lighter fluid or any other flammable liquid for lighting the fire, be very careful. Keep a safe distance while doing so and pour very little amount in the grill. You can also use newspaper to start the fire. It takes more time, but it is safe and will not add any smell to the meat.
Never use the Lighter Fluid on Hot Coals – Suppose you are grilling, and the fire goes out. You want the fire in the grill for a particular recipe. Never use lighter fluid on hot coals. Lighter fluid is a dangerous fluid and can start a fire in the blink of an eye. The fire can also trace back to the bottle and burn your hands.
Protective Gear – You must use all the protective clothing. Make sure you wear full clothes to keep your arms safe from the heat. If you are using an apron, make sure there are no loose strings that may catch fire. Wearing gloves helps save your hands from a high temperature.
Shutting Down the Grill – Make sure that you must shut down the grill properly after a barbecue session. If you have a propane grill, remove the propane tank and store it safely. For the charcoal grill, wait for at least 24 hours to dispose of the burnt coals. Use a metal container to get rid of the coals. It is better to wear a face mask while clearing the coals and cleaning your grills after using them.
Fire Extinguishers – We pray and hope that it never comes down to this. However, you must keep a fire extinguisher nearby to put out the fires. You can use baking soda to control grease fires. Don’t use water to put out grilling fires.
Grilling Safety Tips for Kids
Kids love to come near the barbecue grill. Especially when they see their parents or favorite uncle grilling some tasty and juicy meat, they want to participate and have some fun. As a responsible adult, you must never let them near the grills. Following grilling tips will help keep your children safe during a grilling session.
Set up a Perimeter – You need to set up a no-go-zone for children around the grilling area. They should be at least 3-4 feet away from the grill. They should play away from the grill and must not come to grab any playing tool or toy near the grilling zone.
Keep the Equipment Away from the reach of Children – You should not keep the lighter fluid, coals, any flammable stuff, sharp objects, knives, or anything that can harm the little ones around. Remember, it is your responsibility to keep the children safe while grilling.
Keep an Eye on them – If you are grilling at a lakeside, camping area, or any outdoor area, have kids with you. Keep a close eye on them. Sometimes accidents happen due to negligence. The children can go away while playing and get injured.
Teach your Kid – You must teach your kids how to barbecue but only on a cold and switched off the barbecue. Embrace their curiosity and answer their questions. It will help your kids understand what grilling is all about. When you tell them that it is a dangerous thing and can have their grill once they grow up. They will not try to mess with your grill.
Make the Grill Safe for Kids – You can’t stop the kids from getting near the griller when it is not hot and not lighted. Make sure you smooth the sharp edges with masking tape.