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On Deck: 3 Tips to Keep Your Grilling Season Safe with Harmony Decking

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Summertime is here: the weather’s warm, the sun is bright, and your deck or patio is all set. It’s time to fire up the grill (can’t you just smell the hamburgers cooking?) But wait—the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that grilling results in 8,900 home fires every year. Surprisingly, more of those fires are caused by gas grills than charcoal. Before heading out to your deck, be sure to review Harmony Decking’s top three grilling safety tips.

1. Grill in the right place.

  • Always grill outdoors—deadly carbon monoxide will accumulate in an enclosed space and could suffocate you.
  • If grilling on your deck, make sure your grill is ten feet from your house, furniture, railings, overhanging trees, or anything flammable. (Failure to do so could melt the siding off your house–believe me, it happens.) 17% of all grill fires occur when an object is too near the grill.
  • We also recommend using a gas grill if your deck is made out of wood; charcoal is safer on concrete, brick, or your lawn.

2. Use your grill properly.

  • Make sure you read the owner’s manual.
  • If your gas grill doesn’t ignite right away, the NFPA recommends waiting at least five minutes for the gas to dissipate before trying again. When done grilling, close the propane valve first before turning off the burners.
  • Be sure to keep the flames under control by spreading out your coals or adjusting the temperature knobs. If you must use water to douse the flames, use a spray bottle and remove the food first.
  • Store lighter fluid away from heat sources.
  • Use long-handled tools to prevent burns from grease splatter or contact with the grill.
  • Don’t wear risky loose clothing while grilling.
  • Never leave your food cooking unattended, and don’t—just don’t—try to move a hot grill.

3. Maintain your grill.

  • Don’t forget to check the condition of your hoses and propane tanks, checking for dents, cracks, or leaks.
  • Most importantly, you must keep your grill clean! This is the leading contributor of grill fires. Be sure to always thoroughly clean your grill and empty the grease trap.

Grill-related injuries sent 16,600 people to the emergency room in 2014.

Even when practicing safety, injuries happen. Just in case, review how to treat burns, and keep a first aid kit nearby. It’s also a good idea to keep a box of baking soda handy for grease fires, along with a fire extinguisher.
With all those safety precautions in mind, you’re ready for grilling season: time to break out those hot dogs—or try this classic recipe for Savory Grilled Onions.

Looking for more deck tips or advice?

Harmony Decking has 30 years of experience in home improvement, and can help you with everything from maintenance and renovation of your old deck, to design and installation of a new deck, patio, or lighting scheme. Check out our previous work on our website, or give us a call at 215-290-7727. We’re committed to providing honest, friendly service that will help you realize your dream project.

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