Grilling Safety: A Guide for the Uninitiated

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  January 30, 2023

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Grilling is a great way to enjoy a summer evening, but it’s important to remember that it also involves some potentially dangerous equipment. Before you fire up the grill, make sure you’re familiar with the safety procedures and characteristics of your particular model by reading the owner’s manual. 

Grilling safety

Getting to Know Your Grill

When it comes to grills, no two are exactly alike. Even if you think you know what you’re doing, it’s important to take the time to read the manual and get familiar with the specifics of your model.

Safety First

Before you start grilling, make sure you know the safety procedures and characteristics of your grill. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

– Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.

– Make sure the grill is on a flat, level surface away from any flammable materials.

– Keep children and pets away from the grill at all times.

– Wear protective clothing, including long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes.

– Never leave the grill unattended.

– Be sure to turn off the gas and close the lid when you’re done grilling.

Grilling Safety: Where to Put Your Grill

The Basics

Grilling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but it’s important to make sure you’re grilling safely. According to the NFPA, over 10,000 grill-related fires happen every year, and 46% of those are structure fires. That means it’s important to make sure your grill is in a safe spot.

Where Not to Put Your Grill

When it comes to grilling, you want to make sure you’re not setting up shop too close to any structures. That means no balconies, porches, courtyards, terraces, or outdoor patios. Basically, if it’s not a wide open space, it’s not a good spot for your grill.

Where to Put Your Grill

When you’re looking for the perfect spot for your grill, make sure it’s at least 10 feet away from any structures or trees. That way, you can enjoy your grilling session without worrying about any potential hazards. And if you’re ever unsure, just check your grill’s manual for more specific guidelines.

Grill Placement: It’s All About Location, Location, Location

Why Location Matters

Grilling is serious business, and it’s important to take the time to make sure you’re setting up your grill in the right spot. You don’t want to end up with a grill that’s sliding, rolling, or tipping over – that’s a surefire way to ruin a cookout. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when picking a spot for your grill:

– Make sure the surface is flat and stable. No lawns or soft ground – you don’t want a leg sinking in and throwing off the balance.

– If your grill has wheels, make sure they’re locked.

– A grill mat can help keep your grill in place and protect the ground underneath.

Grill Safety Tips

Grill safety is no joke, so here are a few tips to keep in mind to make sure your cookout goes off without a hitch:

– Don’t be a hero – if you’re feeling a bit tipsy, it’s best to just leave the grilling to the sober folks.

– Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies.

– Make sure your grill is far away from any flammable materials, like trees or bushes.

– Don’t forget to clean your grill after each use – you don’t want any nasty surprises the next time you fire it up.

Grilling Indoors? Not a Good Idea!

The Hazards of Grilling Indoors

Grilling outdoors is great, but sometimes the weather can be a bit too much. You might be tempted to take your grilling indoors, but don’t do it! Unless your grill is specifically designed for indoor use, it’s not safe. Charcoal and propane grills both emit carbon monoxide, which can build up in an enclosed space and be very dangerous. Propane grills also present the danger of gas leaks, which can build up and cause a fire. Electric grills are not insulated for safe indoor use, meaning they will give off a lot of heat and become a fire hazard.

Indoor Grilling Safety Tips

To stay safe while grilling, keep these tips in mind:

– Grills and LP tanks should never be operated indoors. Make sure they’re in an open area with proper ventilation.

– Don’t leave the grill unattended.

– If your grill doesn’t specifically state it’s for indoor use, keep it outside.

Grill Cleaning: Keep it Clean for Safety

Why Clean Your Grill?

It’s not just about looking good – cleaning your grill is essential for safety. A dirty grill can cause flare-ups, grease fires, and even explosions. So, if you want to stay safe while grilling, make sure you clean your grill regularly. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Grill?

At least twice a year, you should do a deep clean of your grill. This means taking it apart, cleaning each part, and doing any necessary maintenance. 

What Should You Look Out For?

When cleaning your grill, here’s what you should check: 

– Burners: Make sure all the port holes are clean and clear. You may need to use a small drill bit to clean them. Check for any gaping holes and make sure the metal feels hard and there are no soft spots. 

– Grill Grates: Check for rust. If the rust has compromised the metal, you should replace the grates. 

– Heat Disbursement System: Make sure there’s no build up of grease. Grease fires can be dangerous. 

– Spiderwebs: Clear out any potential spiderwebs. These can cause a grill not to ignite or cause a flashback through the valves. 

How to Clean Your Grill

Cleaning your grill doesn’t have to be a chore. Here’s what you need to do: 

– Get the right tools: You’ll need a venturi brush, a drill bit, and a grill brush. 

– Gut it: Take apart your grill and clean each part. 

– Check the burners: Make sure all the port holes are clean and clear. 

– Check the grates: Look for rust and replace if necessary. 

– Check the heat disbursement system: Make sure there’s no build up of grease. 

– Check for spiderwebs: Clear out any potential spiderwebs. 

– Check your grill brush: Make sure the bristles are secure and there’s no debris. 

Grill cleaning doesn’t have to be a hassle. With the right tools and a few simple steps, you can keep your grill clean and safe. So, don’t forget to give your grill a good clean every now and then!

Checking Your Grill for Gas Leaks: A How-To Guide

The Pre-Grill Checkup

It’s always a good idea to give your grill a quick once-over before you fire it up. After all, you don’t want to be the one responsible for a backyard BBQ disaster! Here’s what to look out for: 

  • If you haven’t used your grill in a while, make sure to check for any leaks or deterioration.
  • Be sure to turn off the gas before inspecting the grill.
  • Check the hose connecting your propane tank to the burners for any cracks or splits.
  • Keep an eye out for any critters who may have decided to take up residence in your grill.

The Soapy Water Test

Time to get your Sherlock Holmes on and do a little detective work. Here’s what to do: 

  • Mix up a solution of soap and water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution around the regulator, the hose, and the valves and manifold.
  • If you see any bubbling, you’ve got a leak and it’s time to replace the hose.

So there you have it – a quick and easy guide to checking your grill for gas leaks. Now you can fire up the BBQ with confidence, knowing that you’ve done your due diligence and your backyard bash will be a safe and successful one!

Grill Safety: Keep an Eye on the Fire

Why You Shouldn’t Leave the Grill Unattended

Grilling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and make delicious food, but it’s important to keep safety in mind. Before you fire up the grill, make sure you’re prepared to stay with it at all times. That’s because the best way to prevent a flare up from becoming a full-on fire is to be there when it happens.

Here are some of the other dangers you might miss if you leave the grill unattended:

– Kids or pets running around the backyard

– A loose football throw

– Or anything else that could spell disaster

Grill Safety: Keep the Starter Fluid in Check

When it comes to starting up your grill, it can be tempting to go a little overboard with the starter fluid. After all, who doesn’t want to get the party started as quickly as possible? But don’t let your enthusiasm get the best of you! Read the instructions carefully and use only the amount of fluid that’s recommended. If you’re using a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. And don’t try to add more once you have some flames, even if it looks like things are starting to cool off.

A Better Way

If you’re looking for a safer and more efficient way to get your grill going, why not try a charcoal chimney starter? It’s a great outdoor grill accessory that will get your grill going without the need for starter fluid. Plus, it’s easy to use and will save you time and money in the long run. 

Grilling with Safety in Mind

Why You Should Always Start the Grill with the Lid Open

Grilling is a great way to get your friends and family together for a delicious meal, but it’s important to remember that safety should always come first. You might think that starting your gas grill with the lid closed is harmless, but it can actually be quite dangerous. 

The Dangers of Lighting a Grill with the Lid Closed

When you light your grill with the lid closed, it can cause a build up of gas inside the main chamber. This can lead to some major flareups and fireballs, which is definitely not something you want to be dealing with. 

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.