Stay Safe While You Grill on the Fourth

BBQ Gilbert

Chances are that if you’re having a party to celebrate the Fourth of July, you’ll be cooking on a barbecue grill. That’s the conclusion of a survey last year about outdoor grilling done by the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association: 68 percent of those surveyed say they always grill out on the Fourth of July, compared with 52 percent on Memorial Day and 51 percent on Labor Day.

The association also says 80 percent of American households own an outdoor barbecue, grill or smoker. Sixty-one percent of those who own a grill have a gas grill, followed by 41 percent with a charcoal unit and 10 percent with electric.


Here are a few safety tips for using your grill this year: 


* Liquid Propane Cylinder: If you have one for your grill, never use it if it is dented or shows signs of corrosion or rust. Never store one of these cylinders inside your home.


*Gas Grills: Check out all the gas fittings and hoses regularly to make sure they are tightly fastened and free of wear and tear. Look for holes or worn spots on the hoses. All fittings should be leak tested with a solution of dish soap and water – one part soap to three parts water. Apply this solution to the hose and check for bubble formation when you turn on the gas. If any bubbles appear, the hose must be repaired before you use your grill again.


* Electric or Gas Grill Wiring: Check out any wiring in your gas or electric grill for rodent damage. Arizona desert rats love to chew on wires and can strip the plastic off wiring to build nests. They can also damage your gas hose.


*Charcoal Grills: You can avoid many cleaning problems by lining the bowl with aluminum foil. After grilling — once the grill and coals are totally cool — which could take two days — you can discard the foil and burnt coals and then reline with more foil.