As we head into the 4th of July weekend and a summer of fun ahead, many of us will spend time outside with friends and family enjoying backyard BBQs. Even though you’re outside, it’s still equally as important to be cautious about fire safety. Improper use of a grill—whether gas or charcoal—can cause a fire and potentially major damage. Stay safe this summer with these grilling tips from the National Fire Prevention Association so you can focus on having fun, not fire damage!

  • Keep the grill away from your home and deck
    This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people keep their grill against their home or deck. When using your grill, be sure there is ample space around it, and make sure it’s not leaning against anything flammable. Even though it may not catch fire, the heat and smoke from the grill can still cause damage to your home’s siding or deck. Additionally, make sure your grill isn’t being used under any hanging leaves or branches that could fall.

  • Remove fat or grease build-up before each use
    Leftover fat or grease in your grill is similar to dryer lint—leaving it in while using the appliance can cause a fire. Leaving a build-up of grease or fat is a ticking time bomb and will eventually cause your grill to catch on fire. Before or after each use, be sure to thoroughly clean your grill including the grates and trays below the grill.
  • Check the gas tank for leaks
    If you have a propane tank, check the hose for any leaks before the first use each season. How can you tell if there’s a leak? Of course by smell, but here’s another helpful trick: apply soap and water to the hose—if there is a leak, the hose will release bubbles! If you suspect a leak and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill. Even if the leak stops, be sure to have it serviced by a professional before attempting to use it again. If the leak does not stop, call your local fire department.

  • Keep children and pets away
    As you would with an indoor stove, be sure to keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill at all times. With kids and pets running around and playing, accidents can happen. Keep everyone at your BBQ safe and only allow adults or those using the grill to stand nearby.

    As always, we’re here to help if something goes wrong. Stay safe and healthy this summer and give us a call for any of your fire or smoke damage needs!