12 steps to grilling safety

  • Published
  • By Eric T. Hoehn
  • 88th Air Base Wing Safety Office

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The grilling season upon us. Next time you fire it up, consider the following guidance to avoid making your summer-grilling experience memorable for all the wrong reasons:

1. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to maximize the safe operation of its product.

2. Thoroughly inspect all grill components to ensure their operability.

3. Propane and charcoal barbecue grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.

4. Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, and eaves or overhanging branches.

5. Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.

6. Keep children and pets away from the grill area: Declare a 5-foot or larger “safe zone” around the grill.

7. Put out several long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames when flipping burgers.

8. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.

9. Although most modern grills employ a “hands-off” method of cooking, you still need to monitor for potential problems. Never leave the grill unattended.

10. Purchase the proper starter fluid and store the can out of children’s reach and away from heat sources.

11. Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any other flammable or combustible liquid to get the fire going.

12. Always ensure coals are completely cool before dumping. If you’re home, wait until the next day.


The right way to check food temps:

  • With meat on the grill, insert thermometer halfway into thickest part.

  • Be sure it doesn’t go through the other side or hit a bone or grill grate.

  • Refer to thermometer diagram to correct internal temperature.

  • Use these tips and enjoy a safe summer. For more information about safe grilling, contact the 88th Air Base Wing’s Safety Office at 937-904-0888.