Grilling is a top summer pleasure for many of us, and it’s one of the best ways to entertain at your home during warm weather months. In honor of June’s National Safety Month, here are some tips to keep you and your guests safe when cooking out:
1. Know your grill. When you purchase your grill, take time to read the owner’s manual and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembly, use, and products.
2. Keep children and pets away from the grill when it’s in use. Remember that the grill and its parts retain heat long after the food has been served, so be sure the grilling area stays off limits until everything has completely cooled.
3. Keep all charcoal, starter fluid, matches, and lighters out of the reach of children. Store them away from any potential heat sources, too.
4. Position the grill carefully. The grill should not be close to any walls, fencing, or deck materials. Make sure the grill is not underneath any tree branches, eaves, or ceiling. Check to make sure that the grill is stable and can’t easily tip.
5. Only use utensils and tools that are intended for grilling. Utensils for handling food on the grill should be heavy duty and have long handles.
6. Watch your clothing. Keep sleeves, shirttails, and aprons away from the fire.
7. Never leave a grill unattended when in use. Once you’ve started the fire, don’t walk away without assigning someone else to watch the grill.
8. Keep the grill clean. A clean grill has less fat and grease to ignite.
9. Have something to extinguish flames within reach. A fire extinguisher is the best choice, but if you don’t have one, keep a garden hose or sand bucket nearby.
10. Protect your hands. Have a flame-resistant mitt or pad handy for hot surfaces.
11. Let coals cool completely before discarding. Even if you think the coals are out, it’s best to use a metal container for disposal.
12. Always follow food safety guidelines. It’s especially important to make sure that meat is cooked, handled, and stored correctly to avoid food-borne illnesses.
Following these simple grill safety tips will help ensure that your next cookout is a red-hot success!
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