As the heat breaks and you start to plan those holiday picnics, it's time to dust off the barbeque for the summer. Like any cooking technique, grilling requires skill and precision. However, unlike other specialties, grills require safety precautions to prevent the destruction of more than just the family dinner.

Gas Grills

  • Ensure the tubes leading into the gas burner are free of any obstruction, including those made by insects, grease, and the remnants of food.
  • Inspect hoses for cracks, holes, and leaks. Fix any sharp bends that might have twisted while in storage.
  • Never touch any connecting parts after the grill has been lit, as gas burns at an extremely hot temperature.
  • Never light cigarettes, matches, or hold open flames near the gas.
  • Keep grills more than ten feet from any home or building.
  • To prevent fire, do not use gas grills in enclosed spaces.

Charcoal Grills

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  • When charcoal burns, it releases Carbon Monoxide. In enclosed areas, this colorless, odorless gas is toxic and deadly.
  • To avoid Carbon Monoxide poisoning, never burn charcoal in enclosed spaces, including homes, vehicles, and tents.
  • When using lighter fluid, make sure to follow the correct instructions and avoid using too much, which can cause an explosion when the fluid comes in contact with heat.
  • Never stores your grill in an enclosed location until after the coals have extinguished completely.

Fire Safety

  • Grease from meat is just as flammable, if not more, than charcoal and gas: To prevent grease fires, keep your grill clean between meals.
  • Consult your individual manual to find the safe distance between your grill and home.
  • Learn to cut fuel source supplies in case of an emergency.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher close and ready.
  • Whenever grilling, make sure there are supplies handy to treat accidental burns.

Food Safety

  • Even when cooking outside, keep food refrigerated until you are ready to cook to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Refrigerate all leftovers immediately after eating.

For more information, see articles provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission at http://www.cpsc.gov

For more than 23 years, Lori Cicali has worked with Allstate Insurance, providing service to hundreds of families regarding their protection needs. She takes pride in fusing the individual consideration of a personal office with the strength and support of the entire Allstate network. Lori's goal is simple: to protect the things that matter most to you and your family.