Grill safe

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Summertime is synonymous with grilling. But you don’t want to spend it in the emergency room because you weren’t paying attention at the barbecue!

We want to ensure you have the best summer, so we’ve compiled a few helpful tips you should keep in mind.

Everybody knows a summer cold is the worst. Now think about summer food poisoning. You’re hot and cold, sweating, spending all your time no less than two minutes from the throne. In all seriousness, bacteria in food can cause potentially life-threatening complications. Just taking a few simple precautions will avoid an unnecessary (and unwelcome) hospital visit.

Always keep meat and perishables on ice fridge or cooler. Bacteria grows at any temperature above freezing and thrives until the environment reaches about 165 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep your meats cold until you are ready to use them. Same goes for your condiments, like mayo.

Remember: Suspect Everything, Keep it Covered, Keep it Cool, Get it Hot!, and Use your Head.

Equally important fire safety. You have to remember, no matter how easy or how much of a pro you are at the grill, you need to take precautions. Obviously, you want to always have a fire extinguisher on hand for small (or potentially catastrophic) emergencies.

Cooking with gas? Make sure you check the fuel path from your tank to the grill for obstructions before you light up, every time! At the first sign of a problem, turn off and disconnect everything. Gas grills produce a great amount of heat that can melt through plastic. Just imagine what that can do to a hand! You don’t want a first-hand experience (pun intended).

Playing with team charcoal? Charcoal grills cause even more fires than gas, thanks to heavy handed lighter fluid fans. Liquid fluid ignites, but when it turns into a gas (like when it hits hot coals)... KABOOM! Never ever use lighter fluid on hot coals. In fact, come up with some other ingenious way to light your coals all together.

Of course, if you want to be less dramatic about it, just follow the instructions (we all know how hard that is for some people) and you will have an accidental and fire free summer.

Speaking of instructions. Read them. Follow the safety restrictions. Why? They’re listed for a reason. So you don’t hurt yourself or someone else.

Grills, whether gas or charcoal, have specific ranges of operation and you should be aware of those before lighting up. We’re not saying you need to know the thing inside and out, but a working knowledge? That would be nice.

And don’t just put a barbecue anywhere. Like scouting a house, location is everything. Keep it at a safe distance from where children will be playing and people will be walking around, and keep the area around the grill clear.

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Published Apr 26, 2012 at 10:19 am (Updated Apr 26, 2012 at 10:18 am)

Grill safe

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