Cooking with fire always has the potential for danger. Follow these guidelines for safe outdoor cooking:
- Never spray starter fluid, oil or another flammable liquid on already-lit charcoal or flames.
- From the moment you ignite the charcoal to the moment you dispose of the cooled ashes, never leave your grill unwatched or unattended.
- Always keep children and pets a safe distance from the grill.
- Keep a fire extinguisher and a water hose handy in case a fire grows out of control.
- Do not wear loose clothing when grilling, and tie back long hair.
- Always use your grill in the open air (except for grills meant for indoor use), and use all grills on a level surface, safely clear of enclosures, overhangs or anything combustible.
- Use only fire starters specifically designed for grill use and store them in a safe, secure place away from the grill. Never store any combustible fuels, such as kerosene or gasoline, anywhere near an outdoor grill.
- Do not use chimney or electric-coil starters with self-igniting briquettes.
- If using a chimney starter, as soon as the coals have been poured into the fire bed, remove it and place it on a fireproof surface, well clear of anything flammable or of anyone who might touch it, until it cools completely.
- Using a spray bottle to control flare-ups can cause burns when the jet of water turns to steam. Instead of a spray bottle, squelch flare-ups by moving the food to a cooler spot on the grill or covering the grill until the flames subside.