14 BBQ Grilling Safety Tips You Need to Know

Grilling and barbecuing is not just a summer activity. In fact, it is probably best enjoyed in the fall when the temperatures are lower. And of course, you have football season.

No, not soccer for our international readers out there – true, by gawd American (and Canadian) football, played with a proper pigskin.

Summer and fall are prime grilling times. Unsafe conditions can exist due to not observing standard safety procedures or with a little too much alcohol involvement. Read these safety tips now and protect your friends and family. https://foodal.com/kitchen/outdoor-appliances/barbeque-grills/safety-tips/ ‎

With football comes tailgating and gameday parties at the house – and lots of brow-ha-ha floeth. With the amount of alcohol that tends to be found at these sorts of events, accidents can happen. And extra care and vigilance should be use around hot and flammable BBQ grills.

Here are our top 14 tips to help keep you safe at your next barbecue:

1. Handle flammables with care.

In order to be enjoyed safely, extremely flammable fuels like liquid propane and natural gas, briquettes, and wood chips need to be handled with respect and a bit of common sense.

2. Never use an outdoor grill indoors, and only use in well-ventilated areas.

Both gas and charcoal models emit poisonous carbon monoxide fumes, which can be deadly in enclosed areas.

3. Keep a safe distance.

Always ensure your barbecue has a clearance of at least 15 feet from overhanging tree branches, buildings, vehicles, and open doors and windows, to reduce the chance of accidental fires and buildup of fumes.

4. Make sure “out” is really out.

Ensure that charcoal, wood chips, and wood lumps are thoroughly extinguished before disposing – charcoal embers can still be hot, even though they look like ash.

5. Ensure that you have the right kind of fire extinguisher.

Keep a small C02 fire extinguisher, or a generous amount of baking soda, close by to douse any inadvertent fires – and never try to put out a grease fire with water.

6. Perform periodic maintenance.

Maintain your grill. Before lighting up for the first barbecue of the year and periodically throughout the season, check all fittings, tubes, and connections to ensure they’re in good condition, that they’re connected tightly, and that there are no leaks.

7. Get in the crevices – clean those tubes!

Ensure that the tubes that feed the burners are free of any blockages from food grease, insects, and other debris. Use a pipe cleaner or small awl to clear any blockages.

8. Gas hoses can melt – and that would be bad.

Keep gas hoses as far away from hot surfaces as possible.

9. Remain aware of your surroundings.

Never leave the grill unattended, and keep small children and pets away from the area at all times.

10. Wear appropriate PPE.

This stands for personal protective equipment, and it’s important. Don’t wear loose clothing close to open flames and always use protective gear, such as fireproof oven mitts and long-handled utensils.

11. Don’t eat metal.

Use a good-quality stainless steel brush to clean the grate, AND wipe with a damp rag afterwards to pick up any loose bristles.

12. Store fuel tanks correctly.

Don’t bring propane tanks indoors. Always store them outside, in an upright position.

Never leave a propane tank in the trunk of your car on a hot day either – excess heat can trigger the cylinder relief valve, releasing gas into your vehicle.

Ensure that the valve at the tank and all burners are turned off when not in use.

13. Observe proper ignition protocols.

Always leave the lid open when igniting the grill. Closing the lid can cause a quick buildup of gas, which can cause an explosion.

If your gas barbecue doesn’t light immediately or goes out, turn off the valve and burners, and leave the lid open for five minutes before trying again. Gas is heavier than air and needs time to clear from the bottom of the cookbox.

Never use any type of accelerant, such as gasoline or lighter fluid, on coals.

14. Use Care when swapping tanks with a hot grill.

If you have to switch propane tanks mid-barbecue, always turn off the tank valve and burners before switching tanks. And ensure that there’s adequate clearance to access the tank without touching the hot surface.

For natural gas grills, periodically check the color of your flame. It should be mostly blue with a yellow tip. If it’s mostly yellow, turn off the gas and contact a certified pipefitter for maintenance.

To ensure a safe and fun grilling season, make cleaning, maintenance, and inspection of your barbecue a regular part of your routine.

What about you? Do you have any grilling safety tips, or other general kitchen safety tips, that you can share with the community? Let us all know in the comments below!

About Lorna Kring

Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.

19 thoughts on “14 BBQ Grilling Safety Tips You Need to Know”

  1. Well, I know that I got a good laugh at my own expense when I read the “make sure out is really out” one, and I have certainly been on the wrong end of that one before. We had the old charcoal grill at the last house and I was always guilty of walking away before the thing was fully out, and I heard about from everyone. The good news is that I am not on a gas grill, and that really makes things easier for me. Good stuff, and thanks for sharing.

  2. I like the advice about periodical maintenance, unfortunately I didn’t take that advice in the past when people have told me and I ended up ruining my gas tubes and a ptank because they weren’t tightened up properly. Guess I learned my lesson from that.

  3. Well, this is an interesting read, but for some reason I was expecting barbecue tips. I guess that’s my reading comprehension going since I should have seen the word safety in there. These are all very basic tips but they usually have to be said since there are always going to be people who try to have an indoor barbecue or come close to burning down their homes due to their lack of precaution.

  4. These sound really self-explanatory, but unfortunately, people neglect them more than they should. I’ve seen kids get burned when they play around a grill. A lot of people think that if they close the lid, the grill is automatically safe, but kids and pets can bump into it, and the outside is still very hot. Grills can also tip over fairly easily. Enjoy your cookout, but please keep an eye on the grill at all times!

    • Thanks Happy Koi – even when we’re mindful of a hot Q, accidents happen easily enough and a BBQ definitely needs to be monitored when there’s a crowd.

  5. One day we had to take my dad to the hospital because he was prettending to be a ‘PRO’ griller whilst he was quite drunk, he burnt one of his hands and he was also playing with it like if it was a steak or something like that. Thank you for sharing this information, it’s really useful for those ‘PRO’ grillers, indeed.

    • Oh, ouch! That’s a good tip all on its own Casiox! Grilling and excessive alcohol consumption don’t mix… at least, wait ’til the fire’s out first!

  6. I think the tailgate food always tastes better when there is less alcohol involved. Our recent cookout involved one of our guests taking over the barbie. That wouldn’t have been so bad except he brought a load of bottled beer along for the ride. There were 14 year old kids who were food prepping better than that guy. Cookout cleanup was a bummer the next day, the drunk left food on the grill and glass bottles scattered all around the back porch. I think it’s funny when people act like there HAS to be beer to make things “better” on the grill. I say they should keep it on the sausages and steaks, instead of consuming it while grilling.

    • Excessive drinking is never a good sign geno, but there’s nothing wrong with a brew or two for those who enjoy it – it’s that excessive part that gets scary, especially around a hot grill!

  7. Lots of great tips here! We love cooking our meals on the grill, though sometimes its a pain. My fiance is notorious for putting the fire “out” and two hours later go to bring the grill inside and its still burning! He just closes it without suffocating the fire! Lol

  8. Hey Lorna,

    Thank you for covering top safety tips in this great post. I really love it. Actually, I follow many of your tips whenever I use the BBQ grill for parties. And you know what, I have an extra small tip if you like to include in the list.

    I always keep a spray bottle of water handy. If I have a minor flare-up, I can spray it with the water to immediately calm it. And the water won’t harm my food, so I can still enjoy my dinner 🙂

  9. For #13, a chimney starter can really come in handy so not to have to use lighter fluid. They’re cheap and easy to use. I highly recommend one.
    Great safety tips here! Things that need to be restated for those who think they’re invincible and can end up ruining a great BBQ for others.

  10. I liked that you said that barbecue grills must be at least 15 feet from trees, vehicles, and your house. My husband and I will take note of this since we have decided to purchase a gas grill next Sunday. Our family loves eating around the garden, so we thought of having a grill that can make our dinner parties a lot more enjoyable.


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