Outdoor grilling is a time-honored tradition enjoyed by families across America. However, grilling can cause damage to your home if your grill is not properly maintained or placed. An estimated 8,800 home fires are caused by outdoor grills each year, with the majority of incidents occurring between May and August. Knowing how to prepare your grill for a summer of safe, delicious meals can help you prevent a home fire that could cause injuries or result in fire damage to your property.
Placing Your Grill
The placement of your grill plays an important role in its safe use. Never use an outdoor grill inside your home, your garage, or inside a trailer or tent, regardless of whether the grill is gas-, wood-, or charcoal-burning. When choosing the perfect place for your grill, select an area that is well ventilated and stable—all of your grill’s legs or wheels should be firmly on the ground or deck to prevent tipping. Avoid placing your grill beneath areas with overhangs, as these can accumulate smoke and soot damage and trap hot smoke and cinders near your home. If you’ll be grilling on your deck or in your yard, consider using a grill mat to catch grease, cinders, and other debris; grill mats are flame resistant and can withstand high heat, preventing the ground or decking underneath your grill from catching on fire. Even if you’ll be grilling on a patio or paved walkway, a grill mat can still protect this area from unsightly stains.
Preparing Your Grill
Allowing dirt and debris to accumulate on your grill not only affects the taste of your food, it can also increase the risk of a fire. Disrepair can similarly affect the function and safety of your grill, making simple maintenance a must to prevent fire and other accidents. When you first pull your grill out for use in the spring and summer, give it a good once-over. If you have a gas grill, you should clean the tank (including the valve) and inspect the gas line for leaks before cooking. Even if the gas line appears intact, if it looks worn in any way, you’re better off replacing it before you enjoy your first grilled meal. You should also wipe down your burners with a damp microfiber cloth and clean any grates or racks with a stainless steel brush. Your charcoal grill’s racks can be cleaned the same way; also pay attention to the inside of the grill’s lid and bowl to remove carbonized grease with warm, soapy water and a stainless steel brush. Don’t forget to clean the outside of your grill using an appropriate cleaner and a microfiber cloth to avoid scratches—not only will this remove any additional grease, dirt, and debris for a safer grilling experience, it will keep your grill looking its best for years to come as well.
Fire and smoke damage should always be addressed professionally so you can enjoy a clean, healthy home once more. You can find out more about fire restoration and fire cleanup in Wilmington when you visit our website to check out our full range of fire, water, and storm damage cleanup services. We also invite you to read through our blog, where you’ll discover more helpful information about protecting your home and your family through preventive practices and quick action when the unexpected does occur.