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Safe Grilling Tips for the Summer

The delicious aroma of dinner on the grill – just thinking of it can make your mouth water. But, like with other appliances, cooking with a grill comes with some precautions.

Grills tend to be a little top heavy, as well as a convenient height for curious little fingers. Be sure to keep a few feet of safe zone around your grill where only an adult cook can enter. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from railings or structures and use long handled tools made for grilling.

Keep a close eye on your kids while the grill is in use, as well as while it is cooling off. Never leave a hot grill unattended.

Be prepared to put out a fire. Fires move fast, so it’s important to be prepared. Have baking soda available for grease fires and a fire extinguisher for other fires. NEVER use water to put out a grease fire.

Download the Red Cross First Aid app to your phone. This app contains information on how to handle the most common first aid emergencies, including burns.

Starting a gas grill with the lid closed can cause a dangerous gas buildup, creating a fireball. Be sure to keep your gas lid open.

Use a thermometer to make sure meats are completely cooked.

Don’t overload the grill. Flare ups can occur if too much fat drips onto the grill’s flames.

While the trademark grill marks make your food look delicious, they have recently been found to contain carcinogens. Marinades made with vinegar or lemon act as an invisible shield that changes the acidity of meats. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, garlic, basil or parsley can also help. Marinade your foods in the fridge.

Don’t forget to shut down the grill. As soon as you are done cooking, turn off the burners and close down the propane supply. If you are using charcoal, close the vents to shut off the air supply. Let the coals fully cool and dispose in a metal container.

Beware of metal brush bristles. Use crumbled up aluminum foil to clean your grill, or find a grill cleaner without bristles.

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