How to Inspect Gas and Charcoal Grills
As Americans continue to focus on healthier lifestyles, the backyard grill is being called upon more and more. It's true that grilling is often a great way to create leaner, tastier meals, but the healthy lifestyle isn't worth risking injury--and that's just what happens to many people who don't take proper care when grilling.
The grill is just like any other appliance and should be maintained properly. After the grill has been out of use, be sure to check it before you fire it up. Look for signs of animals or other debris and clean it up. Spiders are attracted to the supply tubes, so double check those and be sure to replace any rotten wood, such as the handles, as well as frayed wires.
The convenience of a gas grill can't be beat, but the dangers are real. Inspect your gas lines for leaks regularly. Best way to do this--a solution of water and dishwashing liquid poured over the tubes. Where you see bubbles, there's a leak. Call a pro. Worse thing you can do is light a match to detect a leak.
If the gas lines are fine, next you want to double-check your flame. It should be uniform across the grill. Yellow or orange spots in the flames indicate a problem. Call a pro and get it figured out!
All right, i've known plenty of people who have access to a gas grill but refuse to use them because they prefer the taste of charcoal. I don't blame them, I do too.
The coals need to be stacked properly--not doing this can lead to wayward sparks and unwanted blazes. Be sure you add the starter fluid to the coals before you strike your match. Doing both at the same time could mean a trip to the ER.
And when you're all done, douse the coals with water and let them soak. This is the proper way to extinguish a coal fire.
The grill should be at least 10 feet from the house and away from patio furniture or play equipment--particularly anything plastic. And stay with the grill while you're cooking. Walking away is a dangerous choice! Keeping a fire extinguisher near the grill is a good idea, and if you smell gas then get away from the grill and call the fire department. Don't try moving the grill if you think there's a gas leak.
Taking time for proper upkeep of the grill means you have more time for enjoying the fruits--or meats--of your labor.
This entry last modified on: January 15, 2013 6:12 PM
About the Video
Grills can be real fire hazards if they aren't used properly. Here's how to clean and prep your grill for the season—and keep your house and family safe while you cook.