Grilling Safety Part 2: Charcoal Grills

There is one time when you do not want your party to be a “blast” — when you are cooking on the grill.  In Part 1, we provided 5 general tips for grilling safety.  Here are some tips to stay safe when using a charcoal grill.

Prepping the Grill

  • Check for rust damage in metal grills. Charcoal can fall through holes and cause a fire.
  • The location of the grill and the items around it matter.
    • Do not place objects that can burn near the grill even after the flames are gone. The grill can continue to remain hot for many hours.
    • Keep combustible items that may be blown by the wind away from the grill.

Starting the Grill and Increasing Heat

  • There are several ways to get your charcoal started.
    • Charcoal chimney starters use newspaper as fuel.
    • If you use starter fluid, make sure you get charcoal fluid and do not add it when coals or kindling have already been ignited.
    • Electric charcoal starters to not use file to ignite your charcoal. When using an electric starter, be sure you have and extension cord for outdoor use.
  • If the fire needs to grow, use dry kindling or more charcoal. Liquid fuel can cause a flash fire.

Finishing Touches

  • About 50% of all grill-related injuries are thermal burns.  When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before removing them.
  • Dispose of old coals in a metal container.
  • Store your leftover charcoal away from children and heat sources.

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