Grilling Safety Tips for Your Next Family Cookout

June and July are peak months for grilling, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), but did you know that gas grills are involved in an average of 7,200 home fires annually?

Charcoal and other solid-fueled grills are involved in another 1,400 home fires a year. And the NFPA reports that, on average, grill fires are responsible for 13 deaths, 120 injuries and $70 million in property damage in the U.S. every year. Whether you’ve got a gas grill, or you’re using lighter fluid to jump start a charcoal grill, the real danger occurs when combustible gas ignites. Unfortunately, this is an inherent risk that comes with grilling. Luckily, we’ve got some simple grilling safety tips to help keep you and your family out of harm’s way.

How to stay protected during BBQ season


Keep grilling equipment outside

Use all gas and charcoal grills outside.

Place your grill at a safe distance

Put your grill in a spot far from your home, and away from any decks, railings, overhanging branches and leaves.

Stay close while cooking

Do not leave your grill unattended, or allow children or pets to play near it when you’re cooking.

Make BBQ cleaning a regular habit

Regularly clear all excess grease from the collecting trays. If you use starter fluid, use it sparingly. For safe grilling, keep the grill far from heat sources and well out of the reach of children.

Inspect thoroughly before using

Gas grills powered by propane tanks are connected with a tank hose. Check it for leaks before you use it for the first time each year. To do that, apply a light coat of soap and water. A leaky hose will release bubbles. If you see bubbles or smell gas, turn off both the tank and the grill. If they stop, take your grill to be serviced by a professional. If the leak persists, call the fire department.

Move out of harm’s way

If you can smell gas while you are cooking, stop cooking and walk away from the grill. Call the fire department and do not attempt to move it.