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Ask an Expert: Grill it Safe This Summer

How can I be sure to keep summer cookouts safe?

Illustrtion of a man holding grilling tools standing next to a barbeque grill.
Fire up the grill but make sure safety is always on the menu.

Outdoor grilling is a popular summer activity. It's a great way to cook flavorful meals and spend time with friends and family.

However, if not treated carefully, grills can be dangerous. Fire departments across the country respond to an average of 9,600 home fires a year involving grills, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Leading causes of grill fires are a failure to clean, having the grill too close to something flammable and leaving the grill unattended.

Stay safe this summer! The U.S. Fire Administration offers the following tips for grilling safely:

  • Only use your grill outside. Keep it at least 3 feet from siding, deck rails and eaves.

  • Clean your grill after each use. This will remove grease that can start a fire.

  • Open your gas grill before lighting.

  • Keep a 3-foot safe zone around your grill. This will keep kids and pets safe.

  • Place the coals from your grill in a metal can and cover with a lid once they have cooled.

  • Keep an eye on your grill. Don't walk away from it once it's lit.

No matter what type of grill you have, it's important to keep it clean, store it properly and never leave it unattended while in use. For more information, see Grilling safety tips from the NFPA.

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