Cooking with fire always has the potential for danger, so always follow these guidelines for safe outdoor grilling:
- Never spray starter fluid, oil, or another flammable liquid on already-lit charcoal or flames.
- Never leave your grill unattended from the moment you ignite the charcoal to the moment you dispose of the cooled ashes.
- Always keep children and pets a safe distance from the grill.
- Keep a fire extinguisher and water hose handy in case a fire grows out of control. Never 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 a grill.
- Never use self-igniting briquettes with a chimney or electric-coil starter.
- Place the chimney starter on a fireproof surface until it cools completely —well clear of anything flammable or of anyone who might touch it—as soon as the coals have been poured into the fire bed.
- Squelch flare-ups by moving the food to a cooler spot on the grill or covering the grill until the flames subside whenever possible. Using a spray bottle can cause burns when the jet of water turns to steam.