Summertime Fun Calls for Summertime Safety
Summer is finally here!
It is time now to spend as many hours and minutes outside enjoying the fresh air, sunshine, water and cookouts as possible. More time outdoors means more fun but also increases the chance of injury. Grilling accidents, fireworks mishaps and bad luck fishing can all put a damper on the good times.
Grilling Can Be (Too) Thrilling
Site it Safely – Set up your grill at least several feet from the house, away from areas where children or pets might wander too close. Don’t use charcoal grills on a wooden deck. Level patios made of brick or concrete are best.
Start Safely – A chimney starter allows fast, safe lighting of charcoal without electrical or chemical agents. Fill it with charcoal, put some newspaper underneath and light the paper. The heat is quickly channeled up to the coals and soon you have a nice, contained fire. Never use gasoline, kerosene or other highly volatile fluids as a starter. They can explode.
Feed the Flames Carefully – When the coals are covered with gray ash, they’re ready to cook. Don’t be impatient and squirt a chemical charcoal starter onto the already lit coals. The fluid might catch fire and burn you badly. Don’t stir the coals around as this makes sparks fly around. Open the air vents at the bottom of the grill wide if the coals aren’t heating up. Close the vents if you’re getting too much smoke or flames.
Fight the Flares – When juice from the meat drips into the fire, you can get a flare-up; the fattier the meat, the bigger the flame. If things get out of control, don’t panic. Just close the lid. Keep a small squirt bottle full of water handy for smaller flares. Salt or baking soda will squelch fires in the grill’s grease trap. Always have a fully charged, all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby in case something other than the grill catches fire.
Proper Disposal – Allow coals to burn out completely and let ashes cool at least 48 hours before disposing. If you must dispose of ashes before completely cooled, place them in heavy duty foil and soak with water completely before disposing in a non-combustible container.
Clean it Safely – Did you know that every year in the United States, approximately 130 people end up in the Emergency Room because they’ve swallowed a wire bristle from a grill brush? If you don’t make sure your grill is clean and free of clingy bristles, they could end up doing serious damage to a loved one. Instead of a wire grill brush, try using nylon or wire mesh brushes to clean your grill.