Grilling safety tips for National Barbecue Month

RAPID CITY, S.D.– The month of May is National Barbecue Month. According to the National Fire Protection Association, around seven out of 10 Americans have a grill or smoker in their home.

A Member Of Station 1 In Rapid City Grilling ChickenBut before you let the charcoal get hot, or turn on the burners, fire officials recommend making sure the device is in working order.

“Take a look at the hoses, make sure all of your connections are connected,” Division Chief of Fire Operations Brian Povandra said.

If cracks can be seen on them, spray some soapy water over them and look for bubbles. Bubbles serve as an indicator of spots where gas leaks are occurring. And if spotted, turn everything off immediately before taking the grill for service.

Prior to turning on the grill, moving it away from a home or another structure is an important step.

Be sure to look for any objects overhead as well and keep the grill in a safe and open space.

“The further you can get away, the better,” Chief Povandra stated. “Sometimes you are kind of limited on decks, but a good three to five foot area. Just away and out from under the eaves of the house is good.”

While cooking, it’s important to keep in mind the grease tray. As you’re cooking steaks and other food on the grill, the drip tray tends to accumulate with grease and other products.

“It’s a good habit after every time to clean it out. By all means, it never hurts to take a look at it, and look at the drip tray and make sure it’s cleaned out,” he explained. “But if it’s really getting an excess buildup, make sure you take the time before you fire the grill up to clean it out and make sure it’s good and ready to go.”

And if you feel the desire to crack open a cold one around any kind of open flame, do it responsibly. Be sure to also avoid leaving any fire unattended for the safety of both you and everyone around.

And for any tips on the perfect steak or burger, Chief Povandra also has it covered.

“Ohhhhh, medium rare. Gotta get it medium rare. Nice and juicy”

Categories: Evergreen, Local News, National News, South Dakota News