If you’re a classic car fanatic, you probably know exactly how to safely drive and maintain your ride. You understand what oil she likes, how to tune her up. Maybe even what parts to replace or upgrade (seat belts and master cylinders come to mind). Here at BBQ Island, we take our grills just as seriously. Whether you just bought the Cadillac of pellet smokers or you’re starting out with the grill equivalent of your first beater, safety should always be first and foremost in your mind.

Here are five important safety tips to remember when you fire up your grill for the first, or the 100th, time.

  1. Check the Gas

If you’re using a gas grill such as our Lynx Sedona 36-inch model or one of our Alfresco LXE series, check the gas line before each use. The National Fire Protection Association recommends checking all major connection points, then checking the gas hose for potential leaks. To do this, spray soapy water directly onto the connection. Turn the gas on. If there’s a leak, you’ll see bubbles. Check out their video for full step-by-step instructions.

  2. Avoid Flare-ups

Nobody likes a flame war. Not online, and certainly not in or near your grill. While the design of many grills help reduce flare-ups (take Traeger’s pellet grill lineup, for example), you’ll still need to take some important steps.

• Clean your grill regularly.

• Trim fatty meats and avoid excess sauces, if possible.

• Remove food from burners if the grease does catch fire.

• Don’t use water on a grease fire. Turn off heat and cover to smother flames.

  3. Handle with Adult (not Kid) Gloves

This may seem obvious, but standard household potholders and oven mitts aren’t going to cut it with a real BBQ. Purchase dedicated gloves and accessories for your BBQ to avoid getting burned. Plus, your significant other will probably be glad you didn’t ruin her cute-as-a-button apple themed kitchen linens.

  4. Vent Your Frustrations

Whether you’re using a gas, electric, charcoal or wood grill, it’s important to have proper ventilation. It goes without saying that you should never use an outdoor grill indoors! Place portable grills at least 20 feet from your house, preferably on cement or rock surfaces. For more permanent grilling spaces, consider getting a high-quality grill hood. It will help draw and disperse/trap any grease or smoke released from your grill.

  5. The Fuel for Your Fire

Store unused propane tanks in a shaded outdoor area, never indoors. Check to make sure that all valves and burners are turned off before you remove and store tanks. If you run out of fuel while grilling, turn off all burners and tank valves. Let everything sit a second while you mutter a few angry words and ponder whether your meat will still be perfectly cooked. Don’t worry it will. Replace the tank, avoiding any hot areas, ignite as usual and keep on rolling.