Grilling out is one of the highlights of summer. Family and friends get to enjoy warm weather, socializing and eating good food. Be prepared for your cookouts by learning how to use a grill safely this summer season.

1. Grill Safely on a Stable Surface

Set your grill up on a flat and stable surface. A large back deck is often a good location. Avoid muddy areas in the yard or uneven gravel driveways where the grill could tip over.

2. Grill in a Safe Location

Never use your grill indoors or on a screened porch, because of the risk of carbon monoxide buildup. Outside, keep the grill away from the house. Don’t set up the grill underneath overhanging branches, hanging plants, umbrellas, or outdoor furnishings.

3. Wear Appropriate Clothing to Grill Safely

To grill safely, make sure that long hair is tied back. Avoid baggy clothes and keep apron strings tied back and away from hot surfaces.

4. Never Leave a Grill Unattended

It only takes a second for an accident to happen. Grease can flare up and start a fire. Children or animals can burn themselves on the grill. Have another adult present to supervise children. Establish a ‘kid-free’ zone 3 feet around the grill and teach young children to stay away.

5. A Fire Extinguisher is Important to Grill Safely

To grill safely, have a fire extinguisher nearby for emergencies. Grill fires happen in an instant and it’s good to be prepared. Have your fire extinguisher tested and refilled when necessary and make sure you know how to use it.

6. Keep Your Grill Clean

Old grease and fat can easily ignite while you’re cooking, so be sure to clean your grill after every use. Remove any food build-up on the grill and the lid. Scrub rust from the grates so it doesn’t get on the food.

7. Shut off the Grill Completely After Use

Turn off the burners and gas after cooking on your propane grill. When grilling with charcoal, let the coals cool completely and then move them into a metal container for disposal. The grill grates can remain hot for up to an hour after cooking. Allow the grill to cool completely before moving it. Keep small children and pets away during the cool-down time as well.

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