National Barbecue Month: Grilling Safety for Memorial Day Weekend

National Barbecue Month: Grilling Safety for Memorial Day Weekend

Did you know that May is National Barbecue Month? As we gear up for Memorial Day Weekend, and the official start of summer, it makes perfect sense there’s a focus on firing up the grill. Barbecuing is a delicious way to break routine and even to save a little on your energy costs with cooking.

Unfortunately, accidents involving grills are common. Every year, an average of 8,900 home fires are started by grills, and more than 19,000 people end up in the emergency room each year because of injuries involving grilling mishaps, according to NFPA.

While the family barbecue might be a little smaller this Memorial Day Weekend with the restrictions of COVID-19, we wanted to give some quick reminders to help you stay safe this weekend and throughout your summer grilling adventures.

Follow these 7 tips to stay safe when you fire up the grill:

  1. Propane grills:
    • Always check the gas tank hose for leaks before the first time you use it each year.
    • Have the lid of the gas grill open when you light it. If the lid is closed, gas can build up inside your grill and turn into a fire ball when you light it and open the lid.
  2. Charcoal grills:
    • The only starter fluid you should use with your grill is charcoal starter fluid. Never add any flammable liquids to the fire.
    • After grilling, let coals cool completely before disposing in a metal container.
  3. Maintain at least a 10-foot clearance between the grill and your home, deck railings and overhanging branches. Grills should not be placed under eaves and overhangs as fire – fueled by grease – can flare up into these structures and spread.
  4. Have a spray bottle with water handy to douse flare ups, and an extinguisher nearby.
  5. Minimize flare ups by removing grease buildup from the grill and in the trays below the grill.
  6. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  7. Make sure someone is attending to the grill at all times because a fire can double in size in as little as two minutes.  

For more safety tips, visit