Guide to Safely Grilling on Your Outdoor Deck
You might think you’re a pro at grilling a beef burger, but while you focus on getting that perfect flavor, are you also paying attention to your own safety and the safety of those around you?
If you don’t protect your deck from your grill while having a barbecue, the consequences could be serious. And it’s not worth taking the risk. If your deck grill is improperly protected, you could end up dealing with a massive fire that causes serious damage.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what can happen if you don’t pay enough attention to safety while grilling outdoors and consider the steps you can take to keep safely grilling on your outdoor deck.
Why You Need to Protect Your Deck From Your Grill
If grill fires get out of hand, they can be dangerous – and they will put you and your family at risk. Not to mention the damage they could cause to your home if left unchecked.
Grill fires aren’t uncommon, either – dozens of them happen in the US every week, especially in the warm summer months, and they regularly cause serious injuries and burns.
Data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that an annual average of almost 9,000 home fires caused by grills were reported to fire departments between 2014 and 2018. What’s more, almost 2,000 burns per year were sustained by children under five due to grill fires.
NFPA data suggests that one of the most common causes of a grill fire is a leak or line break on a gas grill. It’s estimated that around 20% of grill fires are caused by this, so it’s important to make sure your propane tanks are properly installed.
Another common cause of outdoor grill fires is wind. A gust of wind can cause stray sparks to fly off your grill, and they can start a fire if they land on something flammable that’s nearby, such as decking banisters or tree branches.
For all these reasons, you must take all the necessary precautions while grilling on your outdoor deck, so you can focus on the fun of your cookout while being confident that your safety measures are firmly in place.
Different Ways to Protect Your Deck from Your Grill
Thankfully, there are many ways to improve fire safety by protecting your deck from your grill. Here are some of the most common ways to maximize safety at your outdoor grill.
First up, these grilling gadgets can help make using your grill a safer experience:
- Grill brushes: A dirty grill has a higher chance to ignite. By scrubbing off excess grease, gristle, and char from the grill grate, you ensure both a safer grilling experience and a better cook on whatever you’re making. To minimize bristles falling into your grill or your food, we recommend a high quality steel brush.
- Drip pans: If you’re grilling a greasy cut of meat or grilling at a high temperature, excess grease could drip down off the meat and cause dangerous flare-ups in your grill. To stop this from happening, cook with a drip pan that will stop excess grease from igniting your flame.
- Grill mats: Grease and burnt embers can fall from your grill from time to time, staining your decking as well as posing a fire hazard. Getting a grill mat that’s big enough to surround the base of your grill can stop this from happening while being easy to clean.
Items in Your Grill’s Vicinity
It’s not just your grill you have to worry about. It’s important to consider what’s around your grill and if it poses a hazard.
- Safety gates: You should never stay too far away from your grill while you’re cooking. However, you also don’t want children and animals to get too close while it’s unattended. Installing safety gates around your decking ensures that all pets and animals are kept away at a safe distance.
- Fire-safe furniture: It can be tempting to set up your garden furniture around your grill, so you benefit from its heat as the sun sets. However, make sure you always keep any garden furniture at least 10 feet away from your grill, even if it is fire-safe. Umbrellas are especially dangerous, as they can trap heat and smoke.
- Landscaping: Bear in mind that your landscaping can also catch fire if it’s left too close to your grill. Ensure that plants, tree branches, etc., are kept at least 10 feet away to protect them from errant embers carried by the wind.
Improvements to Your Deck
Over time, grease can stain your wood deck, causing it to look worn and discolored.
Instead, consider upgrading to composite decking – a stain-resistant alternative to traditional wood decking made from sustainable materials that allow you to clear stains by simply wiping them away with a damp cloth.
Get The Right Deck and Dock Protection Accessories
Need some help finding the right deck and dock accessories to maximize safety while you grill? Get in touch with the Decks & Docks team for all your deck and dock supply needs.
We’ve got a wide range of products for you to choose from, and our friendly staff is always happy to help you find what’s right for you.
Give us a call or visit our website for more information. We’re here to ensure you get the best use out of your deck while staying safe.
- About the Author
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Alexis is truly a jack of all trades. She has worked for Decks and Docks for over five years where she served as an Assistant Manager before moving into Outside Sales. Alexis has also helped us open multiple stores along the Eastern Coast of Florida and has acted as Manager at a few locations throughout the years. When she’s not working at Decks and Docks, she’s volunteering at a local animal shelter.