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Summer Grilling Safety

If youíre like me, summer is about cooking food on the grill. There's nothing like the smell of outdoor grills during the summertime. Each year, dozens of people are injured, and hundreds of fires are reported because of grilling mishaps. With the popularity of outdoors cooking, itís important to remember grilling safety. Here are some tips to help keep you and your guests from getting burned, by your next backyard barbecue.

Food Preparation
Before preparing your grill, itís important to prepare your food properly. All food, especially if it contains protein, should stay uncovered and un-refrigerated for two hours at most. Itís also important to separate your raw and your cooked food. Those cooked foods need to be cooked thoroughly, especially meat. A meat thermometer is a handy tool that will tell you if you've reached a safe internal temperature of 165-degrees.

Use your grill outdoors only.
Keep your grill at least 15 feet away from your home, deck railings and flammable items.
Place your grill on a flat, non-flammable surface.
Clean the grill grate with a sponge and dishwashing soap, and remove rust with a wire brush. Remove grease from the grill.
For propane grills, put a light soap and water solution on the gas tank hose and look for bubbles, which would indicate a leak. If there is a leak, have the grill serviced by a professional.

Don't use gasoline, alcohol or kerosene to light your grill.
Never add lighter fluid or other flammable liquid once the coals have been lit.
Never leave the grill unattended.
Always keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill.
If you smell gas while grilling, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department.

Close the grill lid and vents tightly.
Don't move the grill or remove the coals for at least 48 hours.
Keep children and pets away from the grill, burns can occur after the fire has died out.

Few things smell more like summer, than savory smoke drifting off a grill. Even the best laid plans for a backyard barbecue can go up in flames, when you forget to put safety at the center of your meal. Use these tips to practice grilling safety this summer.

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