Remember fire safety when grilling this summer

  • Published
  • By Regina Coffey
  • Air Force Flight Test Center Ground Safety
Summertime is "chilling" time, and for many Americans, that means grilling time. However, when people put on their "World's Best Cook" aprons, they may forget to put on their thinking caps. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, outdoor grilling causes more than 600 accidental fires and explosions each year, costing consumers about $5 million in property damage. 

A few simple precautions can protect  those around the grill. 

Here are some grilling safety tips for summer:
  • Use the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building.
  • Never leave the grill unattended, especially when young children or pets are nearby.
  • Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire.
  • Never attempt to restart a flame by adding additional lighting fluid to an already lit grill. This can cause a flare-up.
  • Dispose of charcoal away from children and pets, and cool it down with a hose. When grilling, use insulated, flame-resistant mitts or long-handled barbecue tongs and utensils.
  • Check the grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no kinks in the hose or tubing.
  • Check the tubes leading into the burner for any blockage.
  • Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear any obstruction and pass it through to the main part of the burners.
  • Check for gas leaks, follow the manufacturer's instructions if you smell gas, particularly when you reconnect the grill to the propane tank.
  • Never use a match to check for leaks; instead, immediately turn off the gas and don't attempt to light the grill again until the leak is fixed.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy.