Works For Me Wednesday- Summer Grilling Safety

wfmw  Recently I had to opportunity, along with a few other bloggers, to attend an event at Underwriters Laboratoriesin Northbrook, IL. I was given a tour of the facility and learned a ton about what this company does to ensure that the products that you and I use around the house and in tons of our daily activites are safe. Maybe you have noticed the UL label on the side of your hairdryer or on some of the cords for things you use.

UL is also committed to educating families about how to keep safe. They have established a website called Safety At Home which has fantatic information as they try and create a safety movement in homes across the country. I learned so much in my day there and can’t wait to share some tips that I learned and share some failures I have found around our house when it comes to safety. In the spirit of full disclosure, I want to let you know I am not at all obligated by UL to share anything despite the fact they hosted me, but I really feel this information is important. They did provide me with some gift cards which I will be passing on to you all later this week so pay attention :)

The thing that was most shocking to me to learn was what I learned about grilling safety. There are 8300 home fires a year and 4900 of them begin outside. In doing a quick inspection of our grilling set up, I really realized we had dropped the ball. And we endure much teasing from family and friends about how obsessed with safety we can be so I assumed we would pass all tests with flying colors. Here are 4 tips to make sure your family is safe when you are grilling.

  1. Keep grills at least 10 feet from any structures: I was amazed to hear stories of people grilling inside their garages or other enclosed areas. This is a big no-no. Our grill is frankly too close to the house and we saw first hand how quickly things can catch fire and spread in a freakish fire demonstration. Keep all flammable fabrics and decorations far from the grill and don’t leave in unattended. Seriously, it took minutes for everything to go up in frames, easily the time it took to run inside and answer a phone call.
  2. Have a spray bottle or fire extinguisher handy: Um yeah, ours is inside. Far from our grill. And I realized I didn’t have the fainest clue how to use one when I was called upon to try and put out a fire. You can check out the video below and see I didn’t have much success in using one. You should never practice using one because once the pin is discharged the extinguisher is no good, but I didn’t even know there was a pin to pull so I would have been in trouble had I tried to use one.
  3. Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a fire: Both will give you quite the explosion. Also you should use proper grilling tools including flame retardant mitts, long handled BBQ tongs and other utensils. Coals can reach up to 1000 degrees (seriously) so you need to make sure they are completely cool before disposing of them. Obviously keep kids and pets away from the grill.
  4. Check gas gril hoses for cracking, holes and leaks: Do not attempt to repair things yourself with duct tape. Either get a qualified repair person or replace your grill. This is not a time to be cheap. A new grill is a lot cheaper than a new house when the old one burns to the ground.

Ok, now get ready for the show. This is video of me attempting to put out a large fire. Obviously, most important is to get your kids out of harms way and call 911. But if you use a fire extinguisher you should aim for the base of the fire and your goal is to push the fire away from you. You should know that the professionals told me I was REALLY close to putting out that bad boy. As you can also see, I stood back from the fire a bit. Standing too close just puts you in more danger.

Hope you find these tips helpful. There will be more in the days and weeks to come. And for more helpful tips on topics other than safety, head over to We Are That Family.


  1. There was not a link to the fire video.

  2. Fixed the video. Thanks ro.

  3. I never thought grills were so scary either until I was at a BBQ and it went up in flames! Almost burnt down the house cause it was so close! Definitely scary!
    .-= Jen-After the Alter´s last blog ..My Boycott On Movie Theaters =-.

  4. Thanks for sharing I never grill out, the hubby does, so I will pass this along to him. On another note, I read your clean house post and wondered if you had a list of what you have on your cards. Also, how easy is it to move the cards to the correct day do you just have a calendar handy so you can see the correct date? Sorry for the long post.

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