Seven steps to safe grilling

Cooking on the grill is a perfect way to enjoy a summer evening. But all too often, this leads to accidents or fires caused by improper grilling — approximately 7,000 people are injured in grill fires every year.

Take these seven steps to reduce your risk of injury and property damage while grilling:

1. Before using your grill, place it at least 10 feet from other objects, including shrubs, bushes, and your house. Believe it or not, a hot grill can melt siding or worse — cause a house fire — if placed too close.

2. Never leave a grill unattended.

3. Only use lighter fluid when starting a fire in a charcoal grill.

4. Before using a gas grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to be sure it is working properly. Do not turn on a gas grill with the lid closed.

5. If you find a leak, turn off the gas. Do not attempt to light the grill again until the leak is fixed.

6. Do not use a grill inside your home or garage. Doing so could cause a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

7. Allow grill equipment to cool completely before allowing children or pets near it. A grill remains hot up to an hour after use.

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