Safety Tips for Using Gas & Charcoal Grills This Spring

This is the time of year when families and friends gather, fire up the grill, and enjoy the beautiful weather with a BBQ.

Both gas and charcoal grills can provide a delicious meal for all to enjoy, but they can also be quite dangerous! Follow these tips to make sure you’re grilling safely:

General Grilling Tips

  • Create a safe zone. Grill at least 10 ft. away from any building and make sure children, pets, and play areas are away from the grill.
  • Grills should only be used in an outdoor area that is well ventilated. You should never grill inside a home, tent, vehicle, or camper.
  • Clean your grill. Char that is stuck onto the grates of your grill can increase your risk of cancer if consumed. A clean grill will also prevent flare-ups.

Gas Grilling Tips 

  • Inspect the gas line for cracks, brittleness, or leaks. To check for leaks, apply a soapy solution to the hose and turn on the propane tank. If there is a gas leak, bubbles will begin to form around the hose. If there are no bubbles, you do not have any leaks and your grill is safe to use. If there is a leak, turn the gas off and check your connections. If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.
  • Check major connection points such as where the propane connects to the regulator and where the hose connects to the burners. If the connection is not securely fastened, tighten till secure.
  • If you smell gas while you are cooking, turn off the gas and burners. If the leak stops, then you will need to have your grill serviced. If the smell continues, call the fire department and do not move the grill.

Charcoal Grilling Tips 

  • Use combustibles cautiously and keep lighter fluid a safe distance away from the open flame and children. Do not use gasoline or kerosene as a starter fluid.
  • Never add lighter fluid to hot coals.
  • If you have an electrical charcoal starter, which do not use fire, use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • Once you are done grilling, let the charcoals cool completely before disposing. To speed up the process, you can dump water on the coals and stir carefully.
  • To dispose, wrap the ash in foil and place in a metal garbage bin for your garbage pick-up.