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6 Tips on How to Have a Safe Summer Barbecue

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Summer is the perfect time of year to fire up your grill for some delicious barbecues. Whether you intend to grill chicken breasts, beef sirloins, fish, ribs, vegetables or any combination thereof, though, there are a few safety tips you should need to reduce the risk of bodily injury as well as property damage.

#1) Don't Use Lighter Fluid

While dousing your charcoal in lighter fluid may sound like an easy way to start your grill, it typically isn't necessary. In fact, using lighter fluid will only increase the risk of dangerous flareups. If you're struggling to start your grill, place some tinder and kindling underneath the charcoal. It's just as effective as lighter fluid, but it won't leave you or your family members susceptible to burn injuries.

#2) Keep Grill 10 Feet Away From House

When setting up your grill, make sure it's positioned at least 10 feet away from your house. Placing your grill closer than 10 feet to your house may result in a house fire. As heat from your grill comes into contact with your home's siding, it may melt or even ignite it. To prevent this from happening, follow the 10-foot rule.

#3) Inspect Wire Grill Brush

Wire grill brushes offer an easy and effective way to clean grime off your grill's grate. Before using a wire grill brush, though, you should inspect it for damage. Over time, some of the wire bristles may become loose, in which case they can end up on or in your food. And if you happen to ingest a wire bristle, it could land you in the emergency room.

#4) Beware of Cross-Contamination

When preparing and cooking food on a grill, beware of cross-contamination. If you use a pair of tongs to place raw meat on your grill, don't use the same tongs to turn the meat. Instead, either use a separate pair or tongs or clean your original tongs with warm water and dish soap.

#5) Turn Off Gas

When using a gas grill, be sure to turn off the gas after you are done cooking. If you don't turn off the gas, your grill will continue to release this highly flammable substance into the air.

#6) Don't Touch a Hot Grill

I know this probably sounds like common sense, but it's worth mentioning that you shouldn't touch a hot grill. It's not uncommon for grills to reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit -- sometimes even more. Even if you only touch the outside of your grill, it could still burn your skin.

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