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Summer is the best season to enjoy outdoor activities with friends, neighbors, and family. 

Outdoor grilling is one of the great American summer traditions and signifies the beginning of the season. Grilling has become an art form for many people around the country and a source of personal pleasure. Serving your recipes straight from your grill and watching the delight on the faces of your guests is a special feeling. Sharing a meal outdoors builds special memories and lifelong friendships. 

Keeping the grilling experience positive and memorable requires certain precautions and risk avoidance. A day of summer fun can take a wrong turn if you overlook the “rules of the road“ for grilling. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is one valuable source of information when it comes to grilling safety. The organization issues guidance that protects people and property from the risks associated with cooking outdoors. You may think, “What could possibly go wrong?” Well, I am glad you asked. Let’s look at some of the recommendations from NFPA that are intended to prevent catastrophes. 

Safety Tips

Propane Grills 

Check the gas tank’s hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. To do this, apply a light soap and water solution to the hose, and bubbles will form if there’s a propane leak. If your grill has a gas leak – by smell or the soapy bubble test – turn off the gas tank and the grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department and get away from the grill. 

Charcoal Grills

There are several ways to get charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as fuel. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.

Roughly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns. 

There are also electric charcoal starters that do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use. When you finish grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing of them in a metal container.

Final Tips

  • Only propane and charcoal BBQ grills outdoors.
  • The grill should be well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

For more in-depth safety tips, visit