Summer offers pleasant weather and warm days, great weather for hosting a cookout in the backyard. Make sure the grill is clean and ready for use. Here are a few tips for grill safety to help prevent accidents this season.

1. Don’t Leave the Grill Unattended

When family and friends visit, it’s easy to become distracted by conversation and kids playing in the yard. If you’re grilling, don’t allow anything to distract you from the job. It only takes a moment for an accident to occur. If the grill is hot, an adult should always be nearby. Put someone else in charge of watching the children and pets so the person grilling won’t be distracted.

2. Grill in a Safe Area

Placing the grill at least 10 feet from your home and any other flammable objects, trees, and structures will help prevent the immediate spread of fire and maintain grill safety. Set the grill on a flat surface and make sure the wheels are locked to avoid it rolling or tipping. Before using the grill, check the surrounding area to verify it’s free from flammable materials and that there are no overhanging branches above.

3. Keep the Grill Clean to Promote Safety

Grease and food particles affect the flavor of your food, may cause flare-ups, and can grow bacteria. Clean the grill at the beginning of the season and after every use. Scrub the grates, wash the grill box, and clean the lid. You’ll enjoy better-tasting food and keep the grill operating efficiently.

4. Check Propane Grills for Gas Leaks

Gas grills are more likely to start fires than charcoal grills, so check for leaks before use. Propane leaks can lead to fire or severe burns. Checking for leaks is as simple as applying a soap and water solution to the gas hose, turning on the gas, and looking for bubbles. If you detect a leak, don’t use the grill until the hose and connectors are replaced.

5. Grill Safety: Don’t Add Lighter Fluid

Adding fuel after the grill is lit is unsafe. The fluid vapors will ignite, and the fluid will vaporize quickly, which could ignite anything flammable in the surrounding area. No matter what type of grill you are using, adding lighter fluid to flames can cause clothing, hair, and other materials to catch fire.

6. Be Prepared for a Fire

When you are grilling, fire is always a risk. Keep a fire extinguisher within reasonable reach as a safety measure. Make sure you and other adults know how to use an extinguisher.

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