Summer is the perfect time for enjoying the outdoors with family and friends. Before you have your first cookout, read these grilling safety tips.

Choose a Flat Area for Grilling Safety

Use your grill on a level area at least 10 feet away from the house, outbuildings, or other structures. Don’t grill under overhanging branches, an awning, canopy, or patio umbrella. Only cook in a well-ventilated outdoor area, because grills produce carbon monoxide.

Clean the Grill

Before cooking out for the first time this season, make sure the grill is clean. Food particles and grease can ignite, causing flare-ups and injuries. Scrape the grates clean with a stiff-bristled brush. Remove any grease and food debris from the grill box as well.

For Grilling Safety, Check the Hoses

If using a gas grill, inspect the hoses running from the fuel tank to the grill. Make sure there are no cracks or signs of dry rot. Verify that the connections are secure. If you notice any issues, replace the hoses.

Use Appropriate Tools

When cooking out, use grilling tools. These special tools are longer than standard kitchen utensils. Using the correct utensils will help you keep a safe distance from the flames while preparing food. Don’t wear loose or baggy clothing and keep long hair and apron strings tied back while grilling.

Grilling Safety With Children and Pets

Teach children to keep 10 feet away from the grill at all times. Children should never be allowed to play on or near the grill, even when it’s not in use. If you’re grilling with kids or pets around, have another adult to supervise. This will keep everyone safe and keep curious pets and kids away from the hot surfaces of the grill.

Have a Fire Extinguisher on Hand

Keep safety essentials nearby in case of an emergency. Have a fire extinguisher that can handle grease fires and make sure you’re familiar with how to use it. You’ll also want to have a first-aid kit on hand in case of burns.

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