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Each summer we all enjoy outdoor barbeques with our friends and families. However, it is important to always practice grill safety every time you “fire-up the pit.” Practice these guidelines every time you grill to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Clean the grill

Grilling is a fun way to cook food and spend quality time with loved ones, but it is also an easy way to get burned. Cleaning your grill before use will in cleaner, better-tasting food and also prevent fat and grease buildup from becoming a fire hazard.

Clean the trays and grates on the grill with a steel brush, wipe clean with a wet towel and wash and dry the removable components. This will prevent the buildup from catching fire when you start up the grill.

Keeping the area clean around the grill is just as important. Seventeen percent of grill fires involve an item that was dangerously close to the grill, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Remove any items that are in a dangerous proximity and reposition the grill itself if it is too close to your house.

Check the tank

Gas leaks and breaks are the most common reason for accidental fires involving gas grills. A good rule of thumb is to always check your propane tank and hoses before you fire up the grill.

Carefully inspect your propane tank and the safety valve and make sure there are no blocked tubes. It will take you five minutes but it will keep your family and friends safe.

Food Safety

It is crucial to ensure that grillers are taking the necessary steps to ensure food safety this season. Keep your food safe by remembering these four steps: clean, separate, cook, and chill.

Be sure that you start with clean surfaces and clean hands, and remember to separate raw meat and poultry from your veggies and cooked foods. Before you take your burgers, hot dogs or chicken off the grill, check the temperature. Using a food thermometer is also ideal for knowing when food is cooked thoroughly.

The United States Department of Agriculture advises people to never let perishable food sit out for more than two hours since bacteria grow most rapidly between 40°F and 140°F. If the temperature is higher than 90°F, food should not sit out more than one hour.

Stay close

Although serving barbeque can be a fairly easy task, it is also one of the most dangerous. Most grill related injuries involve an unattended grill.

Ask friends and loved ones for help that involves stepping away. Another adult would be glad to tend to the grill while you are gone. Do not compromise safety for convenience, it never works out well.

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