Charcoal Grill Safety
Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association (visit their site here)
With more Americans lighting their grills than ever before, it’s important to remember that a fun barbecue is a safe barbecue. The following safety tips are designed to guide you through the grilling process.
- When using charcoal briquettes or wood chunks, form a pyramid and douse with lighter fluid. Wait until fluid has soaked in before lighting.
- Cap lighter fluid immediately and place a safe distance from grill.
- Never add lighter fluid to coals that are already hot or warm.
- Never use gasoline, kerosene, or other highly volatile fluids as a starter. They can explode.
- As an alternative to lighter fluid, use an electric, solid, metal chimney or other starter specifically made for lighting charcoal briquettes or wood chunks.
- Unplug and remove a hot starter with caution and be careful where you put it. Always cool starter completely before storing.
- Never use an electric starter in the rain and/or when standing on wet ground.
- When using instant light briquettes, do not use lighter fluid, electric, solid, or metal chimney-style starters. Do not add more instant light briquettes once the fire has been lit. Add only regular charcoal briquettes if more are needed.
- Once the grill is lit, do not touch briquettes or wood chunks to see if they are hot. Keep grill uncovered until ready to cook.
- Keep vents open while cooking. Charcoal briquettes and wood chunks need oxygen to burn.
- Allow coals to burn out completely and let ashes cool at least 48 hours before disposing.
- Dispose of cold ashes by wrapping in heavy-duty aluminum foil and placing in non-combustible container. Be sure no other combustible materials are nearby.
- If you must dispose of ashes before completely cooled, place them in heavy duty foil and soak with water completely before disposing in non-combustible container.