burgers on grill for family cookout

9 Tips for a Safe Cookout with Family

July is National Grilling Month.

In recognition of this special month, we decided to share some safety tips with you. Before we share those tips, we want you to know a couple basic statistics about grilling and grilling fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “In 2014-2018, fire departments went to an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outside or unclassified fires.”

Also, the NFPA said that “July is the peak month for grill fires.”

If you’re planning a cookout this month, here are 9 tips you can use to grill safely with family and friends:

Keep Grill Lid Open Before Lighting It

DO NOT light your grill while the lid is closed.

The buildup of gas from the closed lid can cause a huge fire to ignite once it’s lit, which can lead to burns and injuries. Always light your grill while the lid is open.

Keep Grill Away from Structures

If a fire were to occur, the fire can spread to anything nearby the grill.

It’s important to keep your grill 10 feet away from your home and surrounding structures such as garages. You should also keep your grill away from trees, shrubs, and flammable items like patio furniture.

Don’t Leave Your Grill Unattended

Anything can happen if you’re not paying attention to your grill. If you can’t monitor your grill, wait until you can grill without interruption.

Clean Your Grill Often

It’s important to help prevent a grease fire from happening on your grill.

To do so, you will need to clean your grill of any grease and fat from the grill itself and the tray under the grill frequently.

Don’t Grill Indoors

Charcoal and gas grills must be used outdoors. DO NOT use these grills indoors.

If you would like an indoor grill, you can purchase an electric grill from your local grocery store. Those grills are safe to use indoors, but you should follow grilling safety practices with those grills as well.

Keep Children and Pets Away from the Grill

Children and pets are not always aware that there is something they shouldn’t be nearby.

Always keep your children and pets away from your grill. This will help prevent them from getting burned and injured.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

You never know when a fire may break out. Be sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby.

It’s also vital for you to learn how to use a fire extinguisher if you’re not sure how they work. This knowledge will be helpful in case you need to use the extinguisher.

Wear the Right Clothes

You’re probably already aware of the basic clothing cooking safety tips, but we want to reiterate them anyway.

You should avoid clothing that hangs or dangles and anything with long sleeves. These parts of your clothing can catch fire easily.

Check for Leaks

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for gas leaks in the hoses of your grill.

While the grill is cool and turned off, you can use water and soap solution to test your hoses for leaks. If you have a leak, the water and soap solution will bubble up on the hose if there is a gas leak.

Please be safe this summer and during this month if you’re planning to grill a lot.

We know that these grilling tips will help you to cook safely with family and friends.