This Fourth of July you may have plans to fire-up the grill and light a few fireworks come nightfall. While you might have steaks and ribs marinating overnight in the fridge, burger patties prepped, and desserts chilling, before you get the party started be sure to consider these 10 grilling and fireworks safety tips.
Grills are responsible for more than 10,000 home fires every year, according to recent data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). When grilling on Independence Day, and all throughout the summer, consider these six safety tips:
If you have a free-standing grill be sure to keep it at least 10 feet from your house, and any other structures. Also, make sure your grill isn’t close to trees or branches, which could ignite.
Keep an eye on the grill. While you might not stand over it the entire time that you cook, always have the grill supervised by another adult when it’s in use. Don’t allow children to operate the grill, and be sure to keep a 3-foot safety zone around it to help ensure that your family, guests, and pets maintain a safe distance. Always clean the grill after you use it to remove grease, which could start a fire.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case a fire breaks out. Be sure that it’s a dry-chemical extinguisher with a Class B and C or multi-purpose rating.
Give your used coals time to cool, then put them into a metal can with a lid.
If you’ve got a propane grill do a soapy water test before using it to make sure your hoses and connections are in good working order. Spray your hoses using soapy water. If you notice that the water begins to bubble at any point along your lines it means that you have a gas leak there and you need to replace or tighten that connection.
To prevent an explosion with your propane grill keep its lid open before you light it, then light it right away without waiting and allowing gas to build up.
In 2018 the NFPA reported that fireworks accounted for about 19,500 fires, which included 17,100 outside fires and 1,900 fires that involved structures. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission recommends that you follow these four tips for lighting fireworks:
Be sure to light your fireworks on a flat surface—one at a time.
Avoid positioning your body over a firework as you’re lighting it.
If a firework doesn’t go off after you light it, don’t attempt to pick it up or relight its fuse.
Have a fire extinguisher on hand to quickly put out accidental fires. As mentioned above, your extinguisher should be a dry-chemical extinguisher with a Class B and C or multi-purpose rating.
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