Keep your cookout safe by following these tips.
The smell of burgers or chicken cooking on an outdoor grill is a sure sign of summer. To protect yourself or loved ones from the dangers of a backyard fire, follow these general safety tips for either gas or charcoal grills and smokers.
- Only use a charcoal grill outdoors, away from buildings, railings, and overhanging branches.
- Only use lighter fluid designed for charcoal fires, and don’t add more fluid once the coals are warm. Better yet, avoid fluid all together and use a chimney or electric starter.
- If using an electric starter, let it cool completely before putting it away, and never use it in the rain or if you’re on wet ground.
- Stay close to your grill while cooking, and keep small children and pets away from it.
- When you’re done cooking, let the coals cool before disposing in a metal container; 48 hours is a recommended minimum cooling time.
- Regularly check the propane tank for rust and look for any damage to hoses and other parts exposed to the gas. You can apply a soapy solution to the tank or other parts to check for leaks.
- Don’t use the tank if it’s dented or bulging or shows other signs of damage.
- Always keep the top of the grill open when lighting it.
- As with charcoal grills, only use a gas grill outdoors, don’t leave a grill unattended, and keep away small children and pets.
- The propane tank should always be stored outdoors when not in use, with the valve turned off, in a place where the temperature will not exceed 120° Fahrenheit.
If an accident occurs during your next cookout or barbecue, you can count on HCA East Florida to help. No matter where you are in the region, one of our Emergency Care centers is close by. If you have any health questions or if you would like to request a physician referral, please call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-866-442-2362.