Grilling and cookouts are a big part of summertime cooking, but that juicy, charbroiled burger or perfectly charred chicken kebab can have you calling 911 if you’re not careful. Thousands of grilling-related fires and injuries are reported every year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are an average of 8,800 home fires annually as a result of outdoor grilling, with July being the peak month for grilling-related fires.
Most homeowners have a gas grill, which translates to an increased risk of fire or injury — one fifth of all reported grilling fires involved a leak or break in the gas line. Other common causes of grilling-related fires include leaving objects that could catch fire too close to the grill, leaving the grill unattended, and letting grease or fat build up in the grill trays.
The good news is that grilling-related fires and injuries are easily to prevent. With a little common sense and a few good safety tips you can keep yourself (and your family and friends) safe this grilling season. We’ve rounded up a few of the most important safety tips to know when you’re grilling; make sure you read on if you’re planning a cookout this summer.
Check Your Grill for Leaks
Clean Your Grill
Grease and grime can build up in the trays below your grill and contribute to fires. Make sure you know how to give your grill a serious start-of-season cleaning and then keep it clean by scraping the grates and cleaning the trays each time you use the grill.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.