Learning Center

Grilling Safety Tips

Make safety a key ingredient of your next family cookout or backyard barbecue.

family cooking meal on grill

Few things smell more like summer – or bring out the neighbors quicker – than flavorful smoke wafting off a local grill.

But even the best laid plans for a backyard barbecue can go up in flames when you forget to put safety at the center of your meal.

Here are some tips to help keep you (and your property) from getting burned by your next barbecue.

Before you begin

  • Place your grill at least 15 feet from any building.
  • Grill only on a flat surface that can't catch fire.
  • If you live in an apartment, place your grill on a parking lot or section of lawn far away from buildings and flammable items.

Heating things up

  • Never use gasoline, alcohol or kerosene to start your coals.
  • Don't add lighter fluid once your coals are on fire, glowing or smoldering.

When dinner's done

  • Soak the coals with water.
  • Close the grill lid and any vents tightly.
  • Don't move the grill or remove the coals for 48 hours, unless you can safely transfer the coals to a stainless steel container.

Gas grill guidance

  • Never use a gas grill on a deck or patio, or within three feet of a building.
  • Make sure all hose connections are tight and in good condition.
  • After grilling, close the valve snuggly on the gas cylinder.

If your grill catches fire

  • If you can get close enough without getting burned, put the lid on or shut off the gas.
  • Get completely away from the grill.
  • Activate the building's alarm system.
  • Call 911.

Always put safety first, and be sure you have the proper insurance for your residence. Contact an American Family Insurance agent today.

These recommendations were developed using generally accepted safety standards. Compliance with these recommendations is not a guarantee that you will be in conformance with any building code, federal, state or local regulation regarding safety or fire. Compliance with these recommendations does not ensure the absolute safety of your occupation, business or residence. It is the property owner’s duty to warn any tenants or occupants of the property of any safety hazards that may exist.

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