Summer grilling safety 101

(BPT) – Firing up the grill is synonymous with summer. In fact, July is the peak month for grill fires, and 64% of U.S. households own at least one outdoor BBQ, grill or smoker according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

While the warm weather and gatherings with friends and family draw us outdoors, it’s important to take safety precautions. Check out these five grilling safety tips before putting on your apron.

Grill outside and away from structures. An average of 10,600 home fires are started by grills, hibachis or barbeques each year according to the NFPA. Make sure to place your grill outside and position it a safe distance away from anything that can catch fire — like siding, deck railings and overhanging branches. Always set it on an even surface in an open, well-ventilated area.

Clean and inspect your grill. Before igniting the grill, remove all grease buildup from the grills and the catch trays below them. If your grill uses charcoal, make sure it has cooled down completely before you dispose of it. Before and after each use, inspect all parts of the grill for any needed maintenance or cracks.

Create a safe zone. You should never leave a lit grill unattended. For an extra level of protection, keep kids and pets at least three feet away from the grill to help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Keep flames in the fire pit. If your summer evening plans call for a backyard “campfire” or gathering around the fire pit, make sure to keep fire pits at least three feet away from the house and anything else that can catch fire. Closely supervise children when using the fire pit and ensure the fire is put out before leaving the backyard.

Be prepared in the event of a fire. Even if you’re following safe grilling practices, you should always keep a fire extinguishing device nearby, like the First Alert EZ Fire Spray. It is easy to use — just point and spray — and clean up after use is also quick and easy. The device is compact and can easily be stored, making it a convenient and practical option to have next to your grill or campfire.

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