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Fire it up! Grilling Safety Tips

February 5, 2010

By Liz Foster, Arizona Farm Bureau

grilling beefOnce the weather starts warming up in sunny Arizona, you’ll want to pay attention to some safety tips when grilling meat outside. According to the National Safety Council, more than 76 percent of U.S. households own a grill and close to 6,100 accidental fires and explosions occur due to improper use of grills. These fires and explosions result in nearly 20,000 emergency room visits and close to 29.1 million dollars in estimated damage.

So, what can we learn from all of this?  Grilling has the potential to cause severe injuries or serious damage. But a few safety tips can keep you and your family safe.

Gas grilling

• Check tubes leading into the burner for any blockage from insects.
• Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear the obstruction into the main part of the burner.
• Check grill hoses for cracking, holes or leaks.
• Move gas hoses away from hot surfaces and dripping grease.
• Do not attempt to repair the tank valve or the appliance yourself. Have a qualified appliance repairperson correct the problem.
• Never store a spare tank under or near the grill or indoors.
• Always store the tank in an upright position.
• When transporting a propane tank, make sure it is in a secure upright position.
• Never leave a filled tank in a hot car or trunk.
• Make sure your propane tank has an over-fill prevention device.

Charcoal grilling

• Never use charcoal indoors, even with ventilation. Charcoal produces carbon monoxide fumes.
• Don’t use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire. They can cause an explosion.
• If using an electrical lighter, use a UL listed lighter only. They have been tested and approved by the government for that use.
• Never attempt to restart the flame by adding additional lighter fluid to an already lit grill.
• Keep a spray bottle of water nearby to handle flare-ups while grilling.
• Place grill on a flat surface.
• Coals get hot…up to 1000 degrees F. Use insulated, flame-retardant mitts when cooking or handling any part of the grill.

Extra tips

• Use grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building.
• Never leave the gill unattended, especially when small children are present.
• Be cautious of overhead obstruction, including tree branches.
• Keep a fire extinguisher nearby when grilling and know how to use it.
• Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions that accompany the grill.

We hope this will help you enjoy grilling and keep you and your families safe!

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Arizona Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and improving the Agriculture industry through member involvement in education, political activities, programs and services.

For more information contact Julie Murphree at (480) 635-3607 or go to http://www.azfb.org.

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