When summer rolls around, grilling becomes one of the most popular ways to cook food. With plans for holiday barbecues, family reunions and camping trips on the horizon, it's time to stock up on charcoal or propane and get the grill ready.
You may want to brush up on your safety precautions, too. According to a 2010 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, grills send an estimated 18,000 people to the emergency room each year. They also cause more than 6,000 fires and $11 million in damage per year.
Whether it's been a few months since you've fired up the grill or you'll be trying it for the first time this summer, it's important to keep safety in mind.
Cover the Basics
Grilling safety starts with the basics. If you master these simple precautions, everyone can feel at ease when the grill is up and running.
Read the manual: It's seems obvious, but the small booklet that's tucked into the bottom of the grill box is easy to miss. Always read the manual before setting up your grill so you have a good feel for what to expect.
Teach your kids: If little ones are running around the yard while you grill, it's important they know about safety. Show them the basic controls of the grill and explain to them the potential dangers.
Watch your animals: Family pets like to sniff around, especially when you have food cooking on the grill. Stop them from getting too close or trying to jump up on it.
Never leave the grill unattended: Never leave the grill alone outside.
Find the right spot: Be strategic with the placement of your grill. It should be far away from your house, tent, deck, pool, low hanging branches, car or anything else that could cause problems.