Cook-Outs: Ways to Safeguard Your Home While Entertaining

Cook-Outs: Ways to Safeguard Your Home While Entertaining

Cook-Outs: Ways to Safeguard Your Home While Entertaining

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to nearly 9,000 home fires each year that involve grills, barbecues, or other outdoor cooking devices. And while the likes of grills and barbecues are used to prepare delicious meals for your family and for company, statistics such as this are a stark reminder that they need to be safely positioned, used, and stored to prevent accidents from happening. Understand some key safety tips to help ensure your next summer cook-out results in safe and fun time for all.

Assemble the Appliance Correctly

Cook-out safety starts when you open the box and get ready to assemble your new grill or smoker. It is especially important to adhere to assembly directions of anything that is either gas or propane-fueled, as one errant connection could put your home and its resident's safety at risk. Make sure to check connections regularly. Take note of any gas-like smells around the appliance. If you really want to test for leaks, you can spray the propane or gas tank with soapy water. If bubbles appear, it is a sign of a leak.

Keep Cooking Appliances Away From Your Property

It's suggested you keep any outdoor cooking appliances at least 10 feet away from your property. That's because these appliances tend to become extremely hot when in use, and this heat could melt siding, torch wood and damage other housing materials. Also, keep cooking appliances away from shrubs, trees or other parts of your landscaping that could catch fire easily.

Have a Fire Extinguisher Handy

All homes should have at least one fire extinguisher, ideally stored in an area around the kitchen. This extinguisher can also come in handy if something were to go awry with your grill. Having fast access to a fire extinguisher can quickly douse a fire before it becomes out of control and has a greater potential to cause injury or property damage.

Clean After Every Use

Don't just prepare your meals on the grill and then let it sit there until the next time you go to use it. Grills, barbecues, and other cooking appliances should be thoroughly cleaned after every use. Grab a grill brush and scrape the grill free of any grease or food scraps that may have been deposited on it. This will not just make the grill ready to prepare your next meal, but it will also help prevent the likelihood of a grease flare up next time you go to light it.

Never Leave a Grill Unattended

Just as you should never leave a kitchen stovetop unattended, you should never leave a grill unattended. If something were to go wrong on the grill, the problem could escalate. Attending to the grill at all times when you are cooking can help catch any small issues before they become large ones.