summer barbecueSummertime is the best time for grilling outdoors with family and friends. But while you’re grilling and chilling, we at American Family Care want to make sure you are staying safe, as well. So take some time to remember these tips for your next summer barbecue, and you’ll be better prepared to keep you and your family safe around the grill.

Grill Away from Your House

It may come as no surprise that July is the peak month for grill-related fires. Grilling may be fun, but it can also be dangerous. That’s why you should grill at least ten feet away from your house – and this includes porches, garages and other structures attached to your home as well. And the same goes for any outdoor decorations. Keep any hanging baskets, umbrellas, party decor and any other outdoor decorations well away from the grill. Whether it’s a charcoal or gas grill, there’s lots of opportunity for a flame to catch on something you don’t want it to.

Keep It Clean

Failure to clean the grill is one of the leading causes of grill-related fires and burns. Cleaning your grill is especially important if you use it to cook meat. Build-ups of grease and fat can provide more fuel for your fire and cause dangerous flare-ups on a lit grill.

Always Keep a Fire Extinguisher and Water Nearby

This may sound like Fire Safety 101, but many people tend to become complacent and forget this very important precaution when grilling. You may feel confident that the fire won’t get out of control, but the truth is you can never know for sure what will happen. It’s better to have the fire extinguishing tools on hand and never use them than to not have them when an emergency does happen.

Never Leave a Grill Unattended

Basic fire safety says you never leave a flame unattended. The same goes for grilling. This is because a fire can potentially double in size in under a minute, and you want to be able to catch any stray flames before they get out of control. If you need to leave the grill, make sure another adult is available to take your place.

NEVER Grill Indoors

Maybe a little rain has ruined your plans for an outdoor barbecue. Or maybe you have a miniature grill and you just want to cook up some burgers in your kitchen. Regardless of your reasons, you should never under any circumstances use a grill indoors. This is because grills release carbon monoxide, an odorless gas that can be deadly in high concentrations; like when it becomes trapped in an enclosed room or building.

With these tips in mind, your summer barbecue is sure to be a fun and safe event. And remember, if anything does go wrong, your local American Family Care is always there to meet any of your urgent care needs.