When you fire up the grill, chances are you’re dreaming about the savory concoction you’re about to whip together, not the fundamentals of grill safety. While grill safety might seem intuitive to the seasoned pro, not everything will feel like common sense to newbies and those a little light on the grill experience side. But with the mastering of a few safety basics, you’ll be well on your way to dominating at the grill (and ensuring everyone is safe while you're at).

Grill placement

First things first. When you’re getting that beautiful grill setup, take a few minutes to scout the perfect location. Most importantly, step one is making sure it’s well away from the house. No one plans on having a grilling emergency but keeping your grill well away from the house is an absolute must no matter what type of grill you’re setting up.

And even if you don’t actually set your house on fire, nobody wants to end a summer cookout with melted siding.


In line with the grill placement, also make sure to pick a spot where it will be easy to keep kids and pets away. While you’re actually grilling, it’s critical to keep a sharp eye on both the grill and the guests of all sizes and ages. Having the grill in the right spot will not only give you a boost of safety but will let you relax and enjoy your cookout—especially if you’ll be breaking out cocktails to get the party started.

Check a gas grill at the beginning of the season

Checking a gas grill when barbecue weather is around the corner is essential for grill safety. Near the top of the list will be ensuring there aren’t any gas leaks, which can be dangerous and lead to a series of problems.

A simple grill safety method used by the pros is to take some soapy water and spray on both the nozzle and gas line. If you see bubbles, that means that you likely have a gas-line problem, which means you’ll need to exchange your tank and bring the grill in to get serviced. Grilling with a defective tank or gas line is one of the most dangerous things you can do at a cookout.

Just in case, pick up a fire extinguisher from your local hardware store (typically about $15 or less) and have it easily within reach.

Charcoal cleanup and final tips

There are many different reasons to love charcoal, although cleanup can be a little on the tricky side. One mistake that novices often make is not letting the charcoal ash properly cool, which is an easy way to badly burn yourself or start something on fire. When it comes to charcoal, take your time and enjoy the ambiance of your cookout while the ashes cool all the way down.

No matter your experience level, it’s always a necessity to check your equipment and come up with a grill safety game plan well before you actually light up the grill. If you cover your bases well in advance of your first big cookout or meal, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Don’t forget to look for more two-minute grill school videos from Robyn!