Todd Shaull

Jul 25 2016

Safety Tips for Outdoor Grilling

July is the peak month for fires caused by a grill. With the increased amount of grill use comes a higher risk for grilling accidents, like fires. Below are some tips to keep you, your family, and your home safe while grilling.

  1. Keep your grill clean
    • Spot clean your grill after every use. Simply brush the grates with a good scrub brush. You can also turn up the heat for 10-15 minutes once a week to burn off any excess food that could start a grill fire.
  2. 5 Minute Rule
    • If you attempt to start your grill and it does not light, wait at least 5 minutes to re-attempt to ignite.
  3. Exercise caution when using charcoal starter fluid
    • Carefully spray lighter fluid on the tops and sides of a charcoal mound and light immediately after. Never spray the starter fluid on hot coals or a flame.
  4. Be prepared for fire
    • Keep a spray bottle full of water next to your grill. This is an easy way to combat small fires, and will stop them from getting out of control.
  5. Situate your grill correctly
    • Be sure to keep your grill well away from your home and from deck railings. A good distance is around 15 feet.
  6. Properly shut down your grill
    • The first step to shutting down a gas grill is to turn off the propane tank. Next, turn the grill burners off. This prevents excess gas from leaking out.

For more information on safe grilling habits and other fire protection tips, visit the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s website at

Share any safety precautions and tips you use while grilling outdoors, and thank you for reading Hills Helps!

Todd Shaull

About Todd Shaull

Todd Shaull is a Vice President, Branch Manager at Hills Bank’s Cedar Rapids location on Williams Blvd. Todd has been at Hills Bank since 1999 helping customers with checking and savings accounts, consumer loans, auto loans, and home equity loans. Todd can be reached at

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