As summer gets into full swing, people all over the country are firing up their grills for backyard cookouts with friends and family. It’s always important to put safety first when cooking over a live flame. Here are 4 grill safety tips to keep everyone on your property safe during a cookout and prevent damage to your home.

Grill Position

Where you place your grill plays a big role in the safety of everyone around it. A poorly-positioned grill can tip over or catch nearby things on fire. Place your grill on solid and sturdy ground at least 10 feet away from any walls, trees, or sheds.

Only grill in an uncovered, well-ventilated area. Grilling produces carbon monoxide, which can build up to dangerous levels in a covered or enclosed space. Even tree branches hanging overhead pose a risk to catch on fire.

A Clean Grill for Grill Safety

Grease is flammable, so a dirty and greasy grill is more likely to flare up. Only cook on a clean grill. After use, wait for the grill to cool down and then scrub the grates with a stiff-bristled brush. Wipe down any other grease spills and clean up food bits. Start each cookout with a clean grill. This grill safety tip also helps the food taste better.

Ways to Grill Safely

There are several steps to take before you start grilling. Consider your surroundings; along with placing the grill in a safe place, also watch out for children and pets. Keep them out of the area by having someone watch them, or put pets inside if they are underfoot. Kids and pets could knock over a grill and hurt themselves or others.

Wear appropriate clothing. Short sleeves and snug clothes are ideal so they won’t dangle into the flames. Tie long hair back and double-knot apron strings to keep them out of the way.

Prevent Gas Grill Mishaps for Grill Safety

A gas grill has some specific risks that you don’t have to worry about with charcoal. A gas leak or buildup is a fire and health hazard. Check a gas grill for leaks with the soapy water trick. Put soapy water on the line from the gas tank to the grill, including on the connections. Then, open the gas valve and look for bubbles on the hose. Bubbles are a sign that gas is leaking out.

Always open the lid before turning on the gas. If gas accumulates under a closed grill lid, it can cause an explosion when the grill is ignited.

Follow these simple tips to keep your summer cookouts safe.

Carolina Homechek serves Mecklenburg and the surrounding counties in North Carolina with home inspection services. Contact us to schedule an appointment.