8 Common BBQ Safety Tips That Often Get Overlooked

Young man cooking meat on barbecue - Chef putting some meat skewers on grill in park outdoor - Concept of eating outdoor during summer time - Vintage retro filter with sun halo flare

Whether barbecue season is in full effect, or you're looking to whip up something tasty on the barbie, there are tons of reasons why people head to the grill. And as great as this cooking accessory can be, if you aren't careful, it can be very dangerous.


Each year, the U.S. Fire Administration estimates roughly 6,500 grill fires will occur -- resulting in close to $27 million in property damage. (Yikes!) And while most accidents tend to happen during the warmest months of the year, the unexpected can occur at any time. To help keep your household safe, here are eight common dangers that occur at (or around) the barbecue grill that people often overlook -- including potential hazards to your health.

1. Look for a well-ventilated area to set up shop.

Location, location, location! The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) wants BBQ enthusiasts to really think about where they put their grills. The ideal place to set up your barbecue grill will be a place in an open area away from buildings and high traffic. In addition to choosing a place that gets a ton of circulating air outdoors, grill lovers should also look out for outdoor debris -- including dry leaves -- and areas with overhead units that can catch fire.

2. Don't be in such a rush to start your grill.

"The grill doesn't start right away, so you keep pushing the ignite button. The gas has been leaking since you first turned on the burner. If you press the igniter button and it doesn't light, turn off the gas and give the grill a few minutes before trying again. The gas is heavier than air and needs time to dissipate," says Juanita Allen Kingsley, Wilderness EMT and Century Health Systems director of business development.

3. Never leave your grill unattended.

As simple as this tip is, way too many people overlook it. Dan Marguerite, owner of the Backyard Barbecue Store, suggests people interested in grilling -- especially those who have children -- should never leave their appliances unattended. Failure to do so can (and likely will) result in an accident.

More from CafeMom: Cleaning Your Grill With This Tool May Pose a Serious Health Danger

4. Rethink your wardrobe.

Sorry, but the area around your grill isn't a fashion runway. No matter how cute you want to look at your next barbecue shindig, always remember: safety first. HPBA advises all grillers to wear safe clothing and give two thumbs down to attire that has too loose and hanging material that can potentially catch fire.

5. Raw meat and leftover marinade don't mix.

Sorry, but the BBQ masters at Maverick Housewares say this isn't a good idea. Unless said marinade that touched raw meat was brought to a rolling boil, it could be very dangerous to reuse for basting. It's also a good idea to nix reusing any cooking utensils that touched uncooked meat.

6. Meat thermometers are your friend.

"We know you’re a grill pro, but it doesn’t hurt to keep a meat thermometer on hand just to be safe when you’re unsure or to satisfy Aunt Jane," notes chef Conor Moran. Speaking of temperatures, the barbecue master also recommends keeping an eye on uncooked meat. "Make sure to never leave raw anything out at room temperature for too long; the FDA recommends a two-hour exposure limit," warns Chef Moran.

7. Remember your little ones playing nearby.

No matter how much fun you're having at your barbecue event, please remember to keep a watchful eye on children. "It's prudent to have the grill separate from the dining and entertaining spaces if you have young children," says Juanita Allen Kingsley. Kids can really injure themselves playing on decks or spaces with a grill.

8. Don't be afraid to use your owner's manual.

When in doubt, look at the owner's manual for your grill. When you think you know everything, still take a quick peek anyway. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association says every barbecuer needs to read their manual before grilling.



Image via DisobeyArt/Shutterstock

Read More >