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Safe Charcoal Grilling

When cooking outdoors with charcoal, always take the following precautions:

  • Keep children safely away from the barbecue fire.
  • After applying charcoal lighter fluid to the coals, wait a minute before lighting them, allowing explosive vapors to disperse.
  • NEVER use gasoline as a starter fluid or accelerant for charcoal grills.
  • Never add lighter/starter fluid to hot or even warm coals. An explosion can result.
  • When using charcoal lighter/starter fluid, place the container well away from the grill before attempting to light the coals.
  • Be careful not to spill any fluid on your clothing or in the area surrounding the grill.
  • Wear an insulated fire retardant barbecue mitt when lighting coals.

If using a lighter to start the barbecue, remember the following:

  • Keep all lighters out of sight and out of reach of children.
  • Barbecue lighters (also called utility lighters or multi-purpose lighters) are made to be used by adults and are not safe for children because they are so easy to use.
  • Do not leave a lighter outside. The weather can damage the plastic, allowing the fuel inside to leak out, or the lighter may break open.
  • BEFORE you use it, read all the instructionsthat come with the barbecue lighter.
  • Purchase barbecue lighters that say "child-resistant" on the package.
  • Keep fire safety in mind. Show children what to do if there is a fire at home or when you are camping.

Propane Gas Grill (Outdoors)
Propane is a flammable gas and can be dangerous. Most incidents happen when a grill has been left unattended for a period of time, or shortly after refilling and reattaching the cylinder. To reduce the risk of injury:

  • Check all connections leading from the fuel source to the inlet connection of the gas grill for leaks. Never use a match, candle or flame source to check for a gas leak. A leak can be detected by putting soapy water at the connections. If bubbles surface, there is a leak. If this happens, shut off the tank valve and tighten all connections. If the connections continue to leak, have a certified dealer check the grill before using it again.
  • Open the valve only a quarter to one-half turn before lighting.
  • Always shut off the valve to a fuel source when it is not in use.
  • Never start a gas grill with its lid closed. The propane or natural gas may accumulate inside and, when ignited, could explode and blow the lid off, causing injury.
  • Periodically, clean the Venturi tubes that bring the gas into the grill. When insects or debris block the tubes, gas is forced out somewhere else within the system. Use the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning.
  • Have a BC-type of fire extinguisher located in the grilling area.
  • Store full or empty propane tanks in a well ventilated area away from the house.
  • Store propane bottles away from potential sources of flame such as furnaces, water heaters or any appliance with a pilot light.
  • Wear tight-fitting or short-sleeved clothing while cooking on a grill.
  • Keep children and pets away from grilling areas at all times.
  • Do not smoke around a propane grill.
  • The metal surface of a gas grill may remain hot for a long period of time after cooking. Keep children away to avoid contact burns.

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