Grilling Safety Tips

As the weather warms, thoughts naturally turn to summer sun, fun and sizzling barbecue. But before you fire up that gas or charcoal grill this summer, the TotalProtect® home warranty team urges you to grill safely. Below are general tips published by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to help you stay safer as you grill:

  • Never use a grill indoors. Use it away from your house, clear of eaves and low tree branches.
  • Make sure it is clean before using it. Remove any grease or fat buildup from grills and trays.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Watch children and pets very carefully.

TotalProtect home warranty technicians recommend that you always review your specific grill manufacturer's instructions carefully, as models can vary. The NFPA and CPSC also offer safety tips geared to both types of grills: charcoal and gas.

Charcoal grills

When charcoal burns, carbon monoxide is produced. You cannot smell it or see it, but in an enclosed space, it can cause fatal results:

  • Use only charcoal starter fluid, as opposed to other types. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • After you are finished cooking, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. Do not store the grill indoors with coals just recently used.

Gas grills

TotalProtect recommends you do a grill safety check prior to cooking, especially at the start of the season. According to the CPSC, many gas grill fires and explosions occur when consumers use a grill after it has been dormant. Or conversely, they use it too soon after it has just been refilled and the gas container has been reattached. Here is what they recommend:

  • Check tubes that lead into the burner for blockage: use a wire or pipe cleaner to clear.
  • Check hoses to make sure they aren't cracked or kinked.
  • Always check for gas leaks when connecting to a gas container. Replace any scratched or nicked connectors, which can cause a gas leak.
  • Never use an outdoor grill indoors, in a garage, carport or under an enclosed surface that could catch fire.
  • Never allow lit cigarettes, matches, open flames or flammable items near a leaking grill.
  • Always follow manufacturer safety instructions when transporting or storing gas containers.

The NFPA also suggests a bubble test to help detect leaks. Mix a little soap and water together and apply to the grill hose. A leak will cause bubbles to release. If you see or smell a leak, always turn off the gas instantly and do not attempt to use it again until it is professionally fixed. Also, if you ever smell gas while cooking, the agency urges you to immediately move away from the grill and call the fire department. Never move the grill.

Now that you are ready to enjoy a carefree summer outdoors, let TotalProtect Home Warranty also assure you the same peace-of-mind indoors! TotalProtect safeguards you and your family against costly repairs and replacements resulting from mechanical failure of your home systems and major appliances, including your air conditioning, plumbing, water heater, electrical systems, refrigerator, washing machine and many others.  There's no better way to enjoy the pleasures of home ownership this summer…and all year long!


The information in this article is intended for the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are intended to indicate coverage by our home warranty or service plans. Please review your contract carefully to understand what your product coverage entails.

Grilling safety tips shared in this article are published by the National Fire Protection Association ( and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (

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