Grilling safety tips for a safe BBQ season

With the air temperature hitting double digits and the sun delighting us more and more often, we naturally feel the urge to make the most of the nice weather and start the BBQ season.
While grilling can be a fun, relaxing, and enjoyable social activity that concludes with a delicious meal, it also requires a good deal of safety measures to avoid injuries, damage to property, or other accidents.

Grilling also requires a good deal of safety measures to avoid injuries, damage to property, or other accidents.

From proper grill handling and placement to important cooking tips, we'll guide you through 7 essential safe grilling practices, so that you can enjoy your BBQ feast without worries.

1. Check and clean your grill before use

As with anything you haven't used in a while, you also shouldn't rush into firing up a grill before you've checked its condition. Is it clean from grease or other residues? Is it still sturdy enough and holds well together? Are the gas lines secure and free of leaks (if you use a gas grill)?

Ensuring proper maintenance of your grill before and after every use is one of the fundamental grilling safety tips. Grease build-ups and food particles can cause flare-ups, attract bacteria, and also don't do any good to the lifespan of your grill.

Pro tip: Clean the grates with a grill brush regularly. You may use dish soap or a mixture of baking soda and warm water to remove the grease and burnt food scraps with ease. Periodically, clean the whole interior to protect your grill from wear and tear.

2. Always grill outdoors

It may be tempting to set up a grilling area on your balcony when you live in an apartment, or in your open garage right next to the house. It's seemingly convenient and would allow you to barbecue even on rainy days.

However, remember that regardless of the type of grill you have, it can only be used outdoors where there's plenty of fresh air and distance between the grill and ceiling or nearby objects. Grilling in tight and covered spaces increases the risk of fire.

Pro tip: If you don't have a garden or backyard to grill in, try exploring public spaces. There are many dedicated grilling areas near lakes or hiking trails. Just make sure to bring firewood or charcoal with you and clean up after yourself.

3. Place your grill away from home and other objects

Grill should be placed on the even, stable ground so that it can't easily tip over and cause injuries or fire.

Expanding on the previous point, it's crucial to choose the right location for your grill. You should place it on an even, stable ground so that it can't easily tip over and cause injuries or fire.

The perfect location also entails placing your barbecue far away from inflammable objects like dry grass or branches and materials that may heat up over time, such as wood structures. You may likewise consider purchasing a solid pad for your grill to even out the surface and protect it from grease or food particles.

Pro tip: Always have a fire extinguisher at hand when grilling. A single spark may cause a fire, and it's important to catch it early on to avoid major damage. You may also keep a glass of water or spray bottle nearby.

4. Create a safe grilling area

Small children and pets tend to be very active and love to explore the unknown. They may often underestimate the safe distance from the grill or intentionally touch the hot elements only because they have no prior experience.

Therefore, it's essential to keep an eye on children and pets at all times when the barbecue is in full mode. If possible, split the responsibilities among adults and have a few of them take care of the grill while the rest watch young children and pets.

Pro tip: To ensure the grilling area is fully children- and pet-safe, you may create a small fence around it. Alternatively, you may also set up a play area for the kids in the garden to keep them occupied while the grill is running.

5. Wear grill-safe clothing

Knowing how to behave and what to wear when using a grill are important preconditions for your own personal safety. Long, loose sleeves may easily catch fire, just like hair that is not tucked away or dangling accessories.

Warm weather may also encourage you to leave warm jackets or pants behind. In that case, it's wise to put on an apron. Not only will it protect your clothes from food stains but also guard your skin from unpleasant grease splatter.

Pro tip: In addition to the apron, you should also wear grilling mitts and use appropriate tools, like BBQ tongs, to avoid potential burns or other injuries from flames.

6. Never leave the grill unattended

Never leave the BBQ all by itself, unattended.

Following a grilling safety etiquette also entails always being in control of your grill while cooking. That means never leaving the BBQ all by itself. A few minutes and a single gust of wind may be enough to cause a flare-up or tip the grill over and spread the fire.

Of course, it doesn't mean you have to be nearly tied to the grill. You can take a break and do other things if needed. However, it's then necessary to make sure that another adult who's familiar with safe grilling practices can take over.

Pro tip: If it's extremely windy outside, do yourself a favor and postpone grilling to another day. It will be very difficult to control the flame (for charcoal grills) and keep it in a stable position. Rainy weather may also make it tricky to maintain a stable temperature and won't feel that pleasant either.

7. Finish grilling correctly

You've done all the work, the meat is sizzling and ready to be served. Before you head to the table, make sure the grill is safe to leave. If the charcoal is still hot, pour some water over it and close the grill.

After you've had your delicious meal, the grill will be ready to be cleaned. Never dispose of used charcoal or ash and clean the grill before they've all completely cooled down.

Pro tip: To make your barbecue feast even more plentiful, try grilling some veggies, like bell pepper or sweet corn, next to the traditional steaks and kebabs. They will add extra flavor and won't create much hassle with shorter cooking times, zero grease risk, and less cleaning afterward.

If Home insurance – to make the BBQ season even safer

While following the safe grilling practices can reduce the risk of fire, injuries, or other accidents, you're never 100% safe. When your home and property are insured, you have extra support to rely on.

While following the above safe grilling practices can considerably reduce the risk of fire, injuries, or other accidents, you're never 100% safe. Something may still go wrong, and when it does, it's good to know you have home insurance in place.

When your home and property are insured, you have extra support to rely on. We will be right by your side to help you recover from financial losses, depending on your type of policy. Remember, you can easily submit a claim within If self-service or mobile app If Mobile Baltics.

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