NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — Grilling is a very popular way to cook food and to entertain during the summer months. However, there are precautions to keep in mind so the barbecue stays a success!
There’s nothing like a hot sizzling steak or burger right off the grill but that grill can lead to injuries and fires. That is why you have to be extra careful about cooking.
The American Red Cross tells us on average grilling is the cause for more than 10,000 home fires each year. Here’s what you need to know after dusting off that grill.
First, make sure to keep your grill several feet away from your home, deck, tree branches and anything that can catch on fire.
Before you fire off, check your grill, and make sure it’s clean, and check your hoses for holes and leaks.
Never grill indoors, in a carport, or under a porch. You want a nice open area and do not leave it unattended.
“It’s recommended to always be nearby when you are cooking and grilling so you can keep an eye on it. If you step away have somebody else come out and look at it for that brief period of time. Unfortunately, these things happen so quickly and it only takes a second or two for something to happen and then gets out of control,” said American Red Cross, Regional Communications Director, Sharon Watson.
You also want to keep children and pets away from the grills. To protect yourself from getting burned use the long-handled tools made for cooking on the grill.
Another thing to keep in mind is to keep your grill clean, remove any grease or fat after cooking. This will reduce the chances of grease fires.
Grilling is simply moving the cooking from inside to outside but if you are not careful it can be very dangerous. It doesn’t take long to get distracted, and for sparks to start a fire.
Most grill fires happen in July and the month of June is next in line. That’s according to the National Fire Protection Association.
You want to make sure you are turning on your grill correctly but once your food is all done you want to make sure you follow all of the directions for the best way to completely shut off your grill.
“Everybody’s always excited to get ready to eat, get the food off and get started. Sometimes we overlook that very important part of shutting down the grill properly and making sure the fire is out. Making sure we don’t have anything that is going to continue burning for a while,” said Watson.
Now just because it’s turned off doesn’t mean it’s safe. It is still very hot and can cause burns, or be knocked over and create a big mess. So, let it cool down properly away from people and pets.
If you are grilling, it’s also a great idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby, in case of emergency and make sure that you know how to use it.