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Got Grilling? Check Out These Tips for Safe Summer Barbecues


Posted by Jose Alfaro more Americans lighting their grills than ever before, it’s important to remember that a fun barbecue is a safe barbecue.
The following safety tips are from the HPBA – The Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association.

These tips are designed to guide you through the grilling process and keep you safe for many more barbeques to come. Remember, anytime you work with fire, there’s a chance of getting burned. So, take precautions. Common sense and planning will prevent injuries and provide for a healthy, happy good time for all!


  • Read the owner’s manual.
    Always read the owner’s manual before using your grill and follow specific usage, assembly, and safety procedures. Contact the grill manufacturer if you have specific questions. (Be sure to locate your model number and the manufacturer’s consumer inquiry phone number and write them on the front page of your manual.)
  • Grills are for outside, only
    Barbecue grills are designed for outdoor use, only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, apartment, house, garage, or any enclosed area because carbon monoxide may accumulate and kill you.
  • Use in well-ventilated area
    Set up your grill in an open area that is away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves, or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbecue in a well-ventilated area. Be aware of wind-blown sparks.
  • Keep grill stable
    When using a barbecue grill, be sure that all parts of the unit are firmly in place and that the grill is stable (can’t be tipped over).
  • Follow electric codes
    If electrically-operated accessories are used (rotisseries, etc.), be sure they are properly grounded in accordance with local codes. Electrical cords should be placed away from walkways or anywhere people can trip over them.
  • Use long-handled utensils
    Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.
  • Wear safe clothing
    Wear clothing that does not have hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.
  • Keep fire under control
    To put out flare-ups, either raise the grid that the food is on, spread the coals out evenly, or adjust the controls to lower the temperature. If you must douse the flames with a light spritz of water, first remove the food from the grill.
  • Be ready to extinguish flames
    Use baking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy. A bucket of sand or a garden hose should be near if you don’t have a commercial extinguisher.
  • Consider placing a grill pad or splatter mat beneath your grill
    These naturally heat resistant pads are usually made of lightweight composite cement or plastic and will protect your deck or patio from any grease that misses the drip pan.
  • Never leave a grill unattended once lit
    Assign someone to watch the grill if you have to step away.
  • Stay away from hot grill
    Don’t allow anyone to conduct activity near the grill when in use or immediately following its use. The grill body remains hot up to an hour after being used.
  • Don’t move a hot grill
    Never attempt to move a hot grill. It’s easy to stumble or drop it and serious burns could result.

More grilling safety tips can be found on this Travelers Insurance Safety site: Travelers Insurance Safety Site You can also find some safety tips on grilling here: NFPA Grill Safety Info.

Here are some quick Barbecue Sauce Recipes for you to enjoy this summer:

Barbecue Marinade
1½ cups oil 1 tablespoon coarse, freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup soy sauce ½ cup wine vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce 1½ teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 tablespoons dry mustard 2 crushed garlic cloves, if desired
3 tablespoons liquid smoke 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Makes about 3½ cups. Marinade can be drained from steaks or chops for a second use. Store in a tightly covered container in the freezer indefinitely; or in the refrigerator for one week.

Barbecue Basting Sauce
Combine 1/3 cup wine vinegar, 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/3 cup oil. Add ½ teaspoon soy sauce and coarse, freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. Mix well. Makes 1 cup.

Barbecue Sauce
2 bottles (14 ounces each) tomato ketchup 1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce ½ cup A1 Steak Sauce
1/3 cup mustard Tabasco Sauce to taste
1 tablespoon dry mustard ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1½ cups firmly packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons coarse, freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons oil (olive or coconut are great!)
1½ cups wine vinegar 1 can beer (12 ounces)
Minced or crushed garlic, if desired

Happy grilliing!

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