Safe Grilling Tips For Summer Barbecues

It is never too early to start talking about grilling in Chicago. And now that we’re on the topic, let’s talk about how to make sure you are practicing safe grilling practices. Each year, outdoor grilling causes an average of 8,900 home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Here are a few helpful tips to prevent your home from becoming a statistic this summer:

Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your home

The further the grill is from your house, the better. The NFPA reports that 27 percent of home fires started by outdoor grills begin in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and 29 percent start on an exterior balcony or open porch.

Never use a grill indoors

Never use a grill in a garage or other an enclosed area, even if the area is ventilated because there is still a  risk of harmful carbon monoxide buildup.

Clean your grill

A clean grill will make your food taste better and reduce the risk of fires. Do not allow grease or fat to build up on your grill. If there is a small fire on your grill, fat and grease can make the fire worse.

Check for gas leaks using the bubble test

Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks at the beginning of grilling season. Here’s a quick way to check for leaks:

-Mix a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water. Rub the solution on the hoses and connections.

-Turn the gas on with the lid open. If the solution starts to form bubbles, that can mean the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are loose.

Never leave a grill unattended

Do not leave the grill unattended when there is a fire or while it is still hot. Fires can double in size in just one minute. 

Keep a fire extinguisher nearby

In case of a fire, keep a fire extinguisher within arms reach and be ready to use it. However, do not risk your safety. Call 911 and evacuate immediately if the fire is spreading quickly.