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We may be clear from the winter storms and the snowy vortex we saw during those colder months in the year. Flowers are blooming, the sun is out, and BBQ season is upon us. What a great time of year to gather with friends and family and share a meal in the warm sun.

As you gather this year, remember a few safety tips to keep your BBQ guests happy and healthy, and injury-free. Let’s start by taking a closer look at this great infographic from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). [1]

In addition to grilling food safety, keep in mind other risk factors that can turn a fun evening on the patio into a dangerous situation:

Keep your grill clean

Leftover food from previous cookouts can stick to your grill, or drip down on your burners and tray. Over time, drippings and leftover foods can potentially cause a fire that not only ruins your food but can destroy your equipment or cause physical injury.

Clear the area around your grill

Avoid putting your grill against your house or other structure. Heat and flames can easily spread to surroundings and cause extensive damage. You should also keep people and children away from the grill. The last thing you want is for a guest or child to bump up against or lean on a hot grill.

Have the right kind of extinguisher handy

Throwing water on a grease fire only spreads the fire and causes more damage and injury. And some fire extinguishers aren’t meant for this kind of fire. Ensure you have a nearby fire extinguisher specifically designed to put out grease and grill fires.

By taking a few precautions around the food and grilling equipment, you and your guests will enjoy a fun and flavorful evening together.