01 JUN 2023

Tips for Safe Grilling

Close-up of four hamburgers being grilled with a large, fiery flare-up in the middle.
Keep grilling a relaxing pastime with these safety tips from our experts.

’Tis the season for outdoor grilling.

The warm temperatures of summer have arrived, and families throughout the country are honoring dads and grads. What better time to review some best practices to keep your loved ones safe when barbecuing?

“Our Emergency Department is always ready to help anyone with injuries but it’s better to avoid them,” says Heather Theaux, Director of NorthBay Health’s Emergency Services and Trauma Program.

Here are seven tips to help keep your grilling activities safe:

  • No matter what you’re grilling, always start with clean hands. You should especially wash your hands before and after touching raw meat, poultry and seafood items to prevent the spread of foodborne illness bacteria.
  • Put your grill in a safe location at least 10 feet from your house. Never place it under overhangs or near trees, tablecloths, lawn decorations, or anything else that could potentially catch of fire. Set up your grill on a flat, level surface.
  • Clean your grill regularly. Eliminate grease and other buildup that can cause flare-ups and add fuel to potential fires.
  • Wear the right gear. Long sleeves and grilling gloves can protect your arms and hands from the heat of the fire. Don’t wear loose clothing while grilling. It can easily catch on fire. If you have long hair, wear it up and out of the way.
  • Be ready to put out a fire. When big fires and flare-ups happen, you’ll want to be ready. Baking soda is a good option for putting out a grease fire. You can also use a fire extinguisher.
  • Never leave a grill unattended and remember to keep kids and pets away.
  • Always turn off your grill when done. It might seem like common sense but it’s easy to forget when you’re in a rush to get dinner finished. Create a routine every time you grill that involves shutting everything down and putting out any fires. It just takes a few extra minutes, but it can protect your family.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers more tips of safe outdoor grilling. Learn more about NorthBay Health Emergency Services here.

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