Ever since I can remember we have sold barbeque grills in our hardware stores. 40 Years ago, the only one we sold was the 8” deep, 20” round, disc shaped charcoal grill that you adjusted the heat by raising the chrome food grate up and down. And now there are grills that are not only fueled by charcoal, but also propane, natural gas, pellets, and even electricity.

With all that is going on right outside your back door, grilling safety is something that has to be remembered. Each year there is an average of 8,900 house fires created by outdoor grilling. Let’s do all we can to make sure that your home isn’t one of them. So here is a few safety tips to follow.

The most frequent story of damage that I hear of is by those that don’t move their grill far enough away from the house. Damage to vinyl and aluminum siding, burnt wood deck railings, and also damage to overhangs, shrubs, and trees can easily be done. 3’ From the house, railing, and anything that grows should be a good rule of thumb to follow before you fire that cooker up!

Keep your grill clean. Especially on the inside. Grease buildup can easily be ignited and get out of control. Besides ruining your burgers, flames rolling out of your barbeque can be a big source of trouble. With most grills, it’s not too hard to do a little disassembly to gain access to all that goo. And on some, like Weber grills, it’s easy to slide out a removable tray to get to the buildup. I suggest that you give the guts of your grill a good scraping out at least 4 times a year. And one last grill inferno suggestion- know where the closest fire extinguisher is! Just in case, of course.

I remember when I was young, it used to be fun watching dad soak that pile of charcoal with lighter fluid, and then watching the flash, and hearing the whooomp, when he tossed a match in. Even though it’s not as fun, I’ve replaced my starter fluid with a charcoal chimney. This accessory uses only a couple wads of newspaper and a metal container to light your charcoal in a clean and safe manner. And for you gas grillers, keep your electronic ignitors in working order! Using a stick lighter or match and bending over your grill to see if it is lit just doesn’t work for me. I can hear that whooomp from dad’s grill all over again. Be careful!

If you have a gas grill, check for gas leaks at the start of, and a couple of times during, your grilling season. A mixture of soap and water applied to all hoses and gas fittings is what you need to do. What you are looking for is bubbles that would be made by any escaping gas. If you find some bubbles, shut off your propane supply at the tank, and it’s time to visit your local hardware store for some new parts.

Even though it may not be convenient, it is best that your grill be attended at all times. Especially when small children are at your cookout. A hot grill does not necessarily look hot to a young child. Keep an eye open for curious pets too!.

So, whether you still have one of those antique disc charcoal grills or a regular backyard cookin’ kitchen, be safe, and enjoy the summer holidays!

Dave is the owner of Umber’s Do it Best, which has been a family owned and operated establishment in the Fort Wayne community since 1944. Whatever your project needs are, we can help. Stop in today at 2413 Lwr. Huntington Rd. Ft. Wayne, In 46809. Call (260) 747-3866 or order online