Grilling Safety Tips To Avoid The Emergency Room

It’s finally above 60* and the home grills can be uncovered and placed out on the patio to enjoy some time out in the fresh air cooking. Today I want to share with you a guest post from Marc Ransford featuring interview from Matt Chappell of Ball State University featuring awesome tips that will help you enjoying time at the grill without an unexpected visit to the Emergency room during the grilling season.

Ball State University’s Matt Chappell has seen it time after time. A fun afternoon in the backyard ruined by a mishap at the grill. Instead of eating perfectly cooked burgers, hot dogs and steaks, people spend a summer’s day in the emergency room being treated for burns. “Safety is all important when grilling food,” says Chappell, a hospitality and food management instructor at Ball State. “However, many people are in a rush to get the charcoal started and the food done. It just leads to tragic accidents. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that nearly 18,000 people went to the emergency room due to grilling-related accidents. Six people died from burns because of using the wrong type of fuel or squirting too much of it on grill fires, resulting in a quick flash that injured skin and ignited clothing. “Even though it might sound silly to some people, I always recommend reading the owner’s manual and following all the safety precautions,” Chappell says. “Then clean the grease traps to avoid any leftover materials that might cause a flash fire. You also should locate the grill in an open space away from a residence and away from trees and bushes. “I also recommend having the correct tools such as over mitts and tongs as well as a nearby fire extinguisher. You would be surprised by how many people are burned by using regular forks without protecting their hands.”

[alert-warning] Tips to make grilling with propane safe and fun[/alert-warning]
• At the beginning of the season, check you hose connections and tighten if needed.

• Once the propane tank is attached, check for gas leaks. You can do this by turning the tank on and applying soapy water with a brush to the hoses and connections. If there is a leak, you will see bubbles form at the site.

• If you see a leak, turn off the tank immediately and get the grill fixed. Never use a grill that has a propane leak.

• If you smell gas while there is a flame, clear the area and call the fire department.

Chappell points out that the most dangerous part of charcoal grilling is using lighter fluid. He recommends buying a chimney starter, which sells for about $12.

Grilling Safety Tips
“To light the charcoal, you just fill the chimney starter with lumps of charcoal, crumple a page of newspaper and light the newspaper. In 15 minutes, your coals will be red hot and ready to place in your grill.”


[alert-announce]What do you prefer to use when grilling – gas or charcoal? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment below.

Happy Grilling,


Twitter: @marcbsu

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