Everyone loves a backyard barbecue, but no one wants to see a fun-filled day of grilling end up in disaster. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five household own a gas grill and an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling each year. Here are a few things you should be doing before, during, and after you BBQ to ensure your safety this season.
- Check your gas hoses for any cracks and holes. Repair or replace damaged hoses and ensure your line is free of bends before turning on the gas.
- Ensure your tank and hoses are far enough away from the grill to avoid heat and grease coming in contact with them.
- Make sure your propane tank is standing upright.
- Never store any extra gas tanks or flammable liquids near the grill, indoors, or in a hot car.
- Place your BBQ a safe distance away from your home, making sure it’s not under an overhang.
- Clean your grill thoroughly before igniting it. Grease and food that is leftover from your last cookout may catch fire.
- Open the lid prior to lighting the grill to prevent any buildup of gas.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy, just in case things get too hot.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
- Be careful not to cross-contaminate food by using separate utensils and plates for your raw and cooked food.
- Ensure your poultry and ground meat is cooked through to a temperature above 165 degrees to kill any foodborne illnesses. Whole meat, such as steak, chops and roasts should reach at least 145 degrees.
- Keep hot food above 140 degrees.
- Turn the burner on “high” for 5 minutes when finished to burn off any excess grease and drippings.
- Turn off gas on the knob on the front of your grill as well as the source of the gas supply.
- Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers. Discard any food left out more than 2 hours.
- Don’t leave a piping hot grill unattended and don’t move it until it’s fully cooled down.