Grilling Safety

Before you fire up the grill this summer, the Naperville Fire Department would like you to keep a few safety tips in mind. These fall into two categories – always and never.

“Whenever you’re lighting a grill, always have the lid open to let any gas escape. While we’re talking about lighting a grill with the lid open, never stick your head in it while you’re lighting. Always stand back and light it,” said Naperville Fire Department’s Community Service Bureau Chief Andrew Dina.

Another no-no is barbecuing in a confined space. Though you may be temped to move your outdoor grill into a garage if it’s raining, it’s not a good idea. The smoke can create the heat to rise and start a fire, or can cause carbon monoxide to build up. A good rule of thumb is to keep your grill 10-feet away from any house, siding, or deck.

Also, never start your charcoal grill with gasoline, kerosene, or alcohol – only lighter fluid. Once the fire has started, do not add any more fluid to it. And once you’re done with your coals, the fire department recommends letting them cool for a couple days before discarding them in a metal container.

As for the “always” tips, make sure to keep your grills clean. The top needs to be brushed regularly, and the grease trap should be cleaned throughout the season. Accumulating grease is a fire hazard.

“Before the grilling season you want to inspect all of your gas lines especially if you have propane or a natural gas grill. You can use a soapy water solution to check for leaks. If they look like they are worn out, get them replaced. We want to urge everybody to have a safe and fun grilling season. Hopefully you utilize those tips and do that,” said Dina.

For more information on grilling safety, visit NFPA.org.

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