Safety tips for kids at a barbecue

The summer may be drawing to a close, but there’s still some time left in barbecue season. For many Michigan families, as long as the first snow hasn’t fallen, the grill is still open for business.

Grilling is an integral part of many American traditions. However, grilling mishaps are a leading cause of fires in the U.S.—resulting in 7,000 injuries each year. In today’s post, we provide some key tips to keeping your family—and especially children—safe around the grill.

Ground rules for kids

If you have small children, you probably have a rule in your house that they’re not allowed near the stove. You should have similar rules in place for the grill.

  • Establish a rule that children (and pets) should maintain a three-foot distance from the grill whenever it is in use or hot.
  • Never let children handle matches or lighters. If your kids see loose matches or lighters lying around within reach, teach them to report these to an adult.
  • Whenever you fire up the grill, supervise children around the grill to ensure they exhibit safe behavior. This also applies after you’ve finished cooking, but the grill is still hot. Many grill fires start from a hot grill that is left unattended after the food has been served.

Other safety tips

  • Whenever you use the grill, be sure to clear the area of any flammable objects—both around and hanging over the grill.
  • Only use a grill in an open area, at least 10 feet away from any building.
  • Never turn on a gas grill with the lid closed, as igniting the grill in a confined space can create an explosive fire ball when you open the lid.

Don’t let a happy get-together with friends be spoiled by an unnecessary accident. Follow the above safety tips to keep your children and the rest of your guests safe.

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