Grilling is a great way to get outside, enjoy some sunshine, and have a delicious dinner all at the same time. But grilling safety should never be overlooked. Home grill accidents account for thousands of fires yearly, and most could have been avoided by following simple guidelines. Here are seven tips you need to know before firing up your grill this weekend.

Follow these seven safety rules when using your gas or charcoal grill so that everyone can stay safe and have fun during this weekend's big backyard feast!

An Introduction to Grill Safety

Grill Safety: 7 Things You Need to Know Before Grilling this Summer

As the weather warms up, there's nothing quite like the joy of firing up the grill and enjoying a delicious meal outdoors. Summer grilling brings families and friends together, creating memorable moments filled with laughter, mouth-watering aromas, and scrumptious food. However, while grilling is one of the season's great pleasures, it's essential to prioritize safety to protect your family, home, and surroundings.

Whether you're a seasoned grill master or a beginner eager to hone your skills, understanding the fundamentals of grill safety is crucial. Proper preparation and vigilance can prevent accidents and ensure your grilling experiences are fun and worry-free. From inspecting your grill before use to maintaining a safe cooking environment, these practices enhance your culinary endeavors and safeguard those you hold dear.

This section will cover seven essential safety tips every griller should know before lighting a fire this summer. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy all the benefits of outdoor cooking with peace of mind, knowing you've taken the necessary steps to keep everyone safe. Let's dive into these essential tips and make your summer grilling delightful and secure.

The Atlas Grillin a Gorgeous Grill island

Safe Placement of Your Grill

The most important step to safe grilling is the placement of your grill. Fire can quickly get out of hand, especially when you and other objects are too close. You may want to stand in the shade while grilling or have an awning to protect from heat and direct sunlight, but anything nearby that might catch on fire should be avoided. Embers can also quickly ignite dry leaves, brush, wood, or structures.

Consult your user manual for minimum safe distances and equip yourself with the appropriate safety gear, ensuring your private space is clear of potential hazards. It's essential to look at all equipment, imagining the worst-case scenario for fire. Keep your grill away from anything flammable, like trees, shrubs, and house siding. Remember to be mindful of hot surfaces when children are around as well.

Keep Your Grill Clean

Make sure that your grill has been cleaned before cooking on it. Any amount of grilling will accumulate grease, food particles, and burnt ash inside the grill. If you're a grilling enthusiast, the danger from a dirty grill will be multiplied. Any grease and debris inside your grill are flammable and create dangerous flare-ups that significantly cause fires in grilling accidents.

At a minimum, the grill grates must be cleaned with a wire brush before and after every use. The burners, barriers, and grease traps need to be cleaned and emptied every month or whenever a significant accumulation occurs.

The Hybrid Series can Burn Solid Fuel and Gas

Using Fuel Safely

Accidents happen with both gas and charcoal grills. While gas grills are generally safer, they require caution and inspection before use. The number one cause of gas grill fires is debris or bugs obstructing the fuel path. To ensure safe grilling conditions, do routine inspections of burners, tubes, hoses, and the gas line or propane tank when cooled down.

Charcoal and solid fuel grills cause far more fires than gas grills. The number one problem with charcoal fires is getting them started. Accelerants like lighter fluid are a dangerous trade-off for the time saved, and they leave chemical fumes and contaminants that can get on the food. Disposing of built-up ash and coals and using a chimney starter or natural kindling to start the fire are the best practices when grilling with solid fuels.

Eliminate Distractions

Grilling can be a social event where everyone pitches in to help, but it's essential for the cook not to get distracted. One moment of distraction is all it takes for fires and accidents to happen. The cook should be clear and focused while cooking, with no distractions from alcohol or other substances.

Equally important is keeping a clean workstation. Having plenty of counter space on the grill island or setting up a small folding table with freestanding grills will keep you from haphazardly juggling ingredients, utensils, and equipment.

Don't Leave the Grill

Everyone wants to be outdoors when the weather is nice, but keeping the grilling area free from traffic and playing is crucial. Restrain kids and pets from playing near the grill; it's too easy for them to bump into or touch a part of the hot grill. Keep guests at least three feet away from cooking surfaces, even after you are finished cooking, so everyone can enjoy themselves without any injuries.

When you have to step away, keep it short, and never leave a lit grill with the lid off. Children, pets, surprise flare-ups, wind-blown leaves, debris - any number of things can happen while you're not there, so close the lid on the grill and keep a close eye on it for any potential problems.

Practicing grill safety

Fire Safety

When a flare-up happens, fire moves fast, so being prepared is vital. Keep a fire extinguisher near the grilling area at all times. Remember, you never use water to put out a grease fire. A dry-chemical fire extinguisher is essential wherever natural gas or propane is used for fuel, as water can damage the appliance and worsen the fire emergency. Baking soda can be used as a backup for a grease fire.

We hope you will never have to use the fire extinguisher, but you must know it will work if required.  Proper training and yearly inspection of extinguishers will ensure their operation and bring peace of mind to you and your family. Rehearse proper usage with other chefs and family members so they fully understand how the extinguisher works and how to operate it. Knowing how to cut the fuel lines and call the fire department in an emergency is also prudent.

Read Your User Manual

Please read the manual for specific instructions on using your grill efficiently and follow all of the manufacturer's guidelines. These guidelines vary significantly between brands based on the grill's materials and construction. The manufacturers' websites can be helpful when it comes time to find manuals specifically for your smoker or gas/charcoal grill model.

When the manual is limited or missing, researching videos and posts online helps you learn what you need to know. Plenty of information about properly using and maintaining a safe grilling space exists, from barbecue experts to hobbyists. Once you understand how your model should perform, it's time to get cooking!

Let's Start Grilling!

Grilling is a tradition that unites families, friends, and communities around great food and good company. While grilling comes with risks, it only takes diligence and awareness to provide a safe environment. With these seven grilling safety tips, you should be able to stay safe while having fun during your next cookout.

With American craftsmanship and premium materials, American Made Grills creates outdoor experiences that are second to none. Our grills are made from high-quality stainless steel and engineered for reliability and long-lasting performance so you can grill with confidence. Explore our luxury gas and hybrid grills collections to find the perfect fit for your outdoor cooking needs.