5 Tips to Avoid Injuries and Accidents When Grilling This Summer
Nice weather in the summertime gives us a chance to enjoy something that’s as much of a pastime as it is a way to cook your favorite foods—grilling. There’s nothing more delicious than burgers and hot dogs right off the grill. Of course, the company of family and friends, while you’re cooking out and grilling this summer, is a close second.
That being said, tens of thousands of people are injured each year in grill-related accidents according to the National Fire Protection Agency.
So, while you enjoy cooking outdoors this summer, keep these basic grilling safety tips in mind. They could save you or a loved one from a major accident.
Choose Your Location Wisely
One of the biggest dangers of grilling is the open flame getting out of control. Choosing the right location to grill in makes it much less likely that you’ll have a fire to put out.
It may be tempting to grill near your porch or under the cover of a tree on a rainy day. However, this could lead to big problems if a flame from the grill catches on one of those surfaces. You should also avoid grilling in your garage or patio due to the potential for carbon monoxide buildup.
When choosing a location to fire up the grill, look for a wide-open space that is at least 10 feet away from other structures. This will help prevent fires, property damage, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Be Prepared for the Worst
Even if you do everything right, accidents can still happen. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for the worst each time you turn on the grill.
It is a good idea to keep a working fire extinguisher nearby at all times. If your grill fire gets out of control, this could be the difference between a minor accident and major property damage.
You may also want to keep a bucket of sand near the grill in case of a grease fire. Water should never be used to put out a grease fire as it will only make things worse. Sand can safely put out a grease fire by smothering it. Although a fire extinguisher is the best choice, sand could also come in handy.
As noted, accidents can happen to even the most careful griller. In most cases, you can prevent them from becoming worse by acting quickly.
With that in mind, it’s crucial that you stay near a hot grill at all times. A fire can grow out of control in a matter of seconds. You may step inside to grab something for a minute and return to a grill that is aflame.
However, if you’re near the grill, you’ll be able to step in before things get out of hand. This may include doing things like shutting off the propane, closing the vents, or closing the lid of the grill.
No-Kid, No-Pet Zone
For experienced grillers, cooking a delicious meal presents few life-threatening problems. For a child or pet, that is a different story. If children or pets will be present when you’re using the grill it is important to keep them away from it.
A distance of six to ten feet is generally considered safe. This can prevent accidents like burns and the grill tipping over on top of a child or pet.
Know Your Foods
As noted, burns and fires aren’t the only things to consider when grilling this summer. You also need to know how to safely cook foods to prevent foodborne illnesses. It can be difficult to cook certain foods to a safe temperature on the grill since they tend to cook faster on the outside than on the inside. This is different from cooking in the kitchen, such as in the oven.
Cooking foods—especially meat—to the correct internal temperature helps decrease your risk of catching a foodborne illness like salmonella or E. Coli.
Steaks should be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Chicken needs to reach 165 degrees to be safe and pork should be cooked to 160 degrees.
Finally, be sure to clean any surfaces that raw meat touches to avoid cross-contaminating your other foods while using the grill.
Velocity Urgent Care Has Your Back
If your cookout doesn’t go as planned and you or someone you love is injured in a grilling-related accident, Velocity Urgent Care is the place to go.
Our friendly providers are ready to treat burns, cuts, foodborne illnesses, and more. We can prescribe medications, perform x-rays on-site, and refer you to a specialist if you need more advanced care.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking serious safety precautions to ensure that our locations are as clean as possible. We’ve put strict sterilization protocols into place and are carefully handling patients who may be contagious to ensure that each one of our clinics is safe for those who need urgent medical care or occupational health services.
Velocity Urgent Care offers convenient online registration that helps you limit your contact with others during a visit. You can sign up for an appointment online ahead of time and arrive when it’s time to be seen to skip the waiting room. We even offer text message updates so you can wait in the car (if you prefer) until it’s time for your appointment.
Velocity Urgent Care is an in-network provider for most major insurance plans, meaning you can be seen for the cost of your co-pay and deductible. All of our locations also accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare. Veterans Administration beneficiaries are also welcome. To find out more about our services, locations, hours, and more, visit www.velocityuc.com.