Summer is Here – Let the Grilling Games Begin-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer is Here – Let the Grilling Games Begin

Now that summer is upon us many of you will be using a grill to prepare your meals. It is a recipe for serious injury or worse to walk away from your cooking appliance or to wear loose clothing such as hanging sleeves when grilling this summer. The same safe cooking behaviors apply when grilling as they do when cooking in the kitchen. The following information should help you practice safe barbecue grilling.

                                                      GENERAL GRILLING SAFETY

  •   Only grill outdoors, position your grill well away from siding, decks, deck railings, and from underneath building eaves. The recommended distance is 5’ away from a structure.
  •   Periodically remove grease or fat buildup from trays below grills so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
  •   Place the grill a safe distance away from play areas and foot traffic. Maintain a three foot clearance or safe zone around the grill at all times.


  •   Do not use a flammable/combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the grill lit.
  •   Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited.


  •  Check the propane cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A soap and water solution applied to the hose will reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles.
  •   All propane cylinders manufactured after 4/2002 must have Overfill Protection Devices. OPD’s are easily identified by their triangular-shaped hand wheel.

Never store propane cylinders inside buildings or garages. If you store your gas grill inside during the winter disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.

By: Rick Caruso,