Grilling is a great way to bring family and friends together. Here are tips for grilling safety to help you enjoy a fun and accident-free cookout.

1. Give Your Grill Space

Set up the grill in a safe area that’s at least 10 feet away from your home or garage. Make sure to grill out in the open, not beneath tree branches, the patio umbrella, or an awning. Keep yourself a safe distance from the grill as well. Long-handled grilling tools are safer than standard kitchen utensils.

2. Don’t Leave the Grill Unattended

It only takes a moment of not paying attention for a pet or child to burn themselves. Teach children to stay at least 10 feet away from a hot grill. When you’re cooking, have another adult present at all times to supervise kids and pets.

3. Grilling Safety Tips: Keep it Clean

Don’t put off cleaning once you’ve finished cooking. Clean your grill after every use. You’ll reduce flare-ups and the food will taste better when cooked on a clean grill.

4. Don’t Grill Too Much Food

Overloading a grill with too much food is a common mistake. This often results in grease flare-ups from excess fat dripping onto the flames. One of the most important grilling safety tips to follow is cooking your food in smaller batches.

5. Use a Thermometer for Grilling Safety

To prepare safe food, make sure you’re cooking the meats to the proper temperature by using a meat thermometer. Raw meats carry bacteria that can cause food poisoning if they are not thoroughly cooked to a safe temperature.

6. Open the Lid When Starting a Gas Grill

It’s dangerous to light a gas grill with the lid closed because gases build up that could potentially cause a fireball when you open the lid. If the flame goes out while you’re cooking, turn off the gas and wait for about five minutes before relighting.

7. Turn Off the Grill

Turn off the gas supply and the burners immediately after you’re finished preparing the food. Let coals cool completely if you’re using a charcoal grill. Then use a metal container to dispose of the coals. Accidents can happen if you forget to turn off the grill.

8. Grilling Safety Means Being Prepared

If a fire breaks out, it can spread quickly. Make sure you have basic safety essentials on hand, including a fire extinguisher. Baking soda is also good to have nearby because it’s effective against grease fires. Never try to put out a grease fire with water.

9. Don’t Cross-Contaminate Food

Bacteria are found in raw meat. You or a family member could become sick if you allow contamination to occur. Keep meat away from other foods and away from utensils and plates until it is cooked thoroughly. Wash your hands immediately after handling raw meat.

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