Holiday grilling safety tips

Holiday grilling safety tips

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - With the Memorial Holiday weekend approaching, folks will have their grills out and cooking and need to be cautious.

"You want to make sure the grill is a good distance away from the house, you want to make sure there is nothing over the grill that could potentially catch on fire," said Adcock Pool & Spa sales manager Blake Adcock.

For folks using propane, be sure to check the tank and the connections carefully.

"Obviously, if you're using propane, you want to be careful, be sure the tanks are in date and you want to make sure that you've got fresh propane," Adcock said.

Be sure when you are picking your grill brushes for proper grill cleaning, choose carefully.

"Metal brushes are a no-no," Adcock said.

They can break apart and get stuck in food and cause serious issues.

Another thing, if you are using propane: "You want to make sure you've got plenty of propane, cause it's going to be a long weekend," Adcock said.

Below are a few tips from the National Fire Protection Association:

Before you use your grill:

  • Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
  • Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
    • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
    • Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
    • If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
  • If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

When the grill is on:

  • As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
  • If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

Charcoal grills:

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

When grilling:

  • Have clean utensils and platters available. Cook meat, poultry, and seafood to the right temperatures– use a food thermometer to be sure (see Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Chart). Keep cooked meats hot at 140 °F or warmer until serving time and set them to the side of the grill rack to keep them hot.
  • When removing foods from the grill, place them on a clean platter – never use the same platter and utensils you used for raw meat, poultry, or seafood.

Watch the time and outside temperature 
Don't let hot or cold food sit out in the "Danger Zone" (between 40 °F and 140 °F) for more than 2 hours – or 1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90 °F. If they do, discard them.