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Enjoy Safe Summer Barbecues

There’s nothing better than the smell of barbecue on the grill when warmer weather hits! What could go wrong when grilling outdoors? You might be surprised to know that there’s a whole lot!

About 18,000 people are sent to the emergency room every year due to grilling-related accidents, according to estimates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Now that summer is in full swing in Texas, there’s no better time than now to refresh your knowledge about grilling safety. Here is a grilling safety guide from Physicians Premier, your Corpus Christi ER.

Do:

1. Keep anything that can be burned in a safe distance from the grill. Farther is better. It is also best to keep the grill at least ten feet away from your house. Do wear appropriate clothing, since sleeves or shirt tails can easily catch fire.

2. Regularly clean your grill. Fat and grease buildup will provide more fuel to a fire. Grease is one of the major sources of flare ups.

3. Keep a bottle of spray water close by in case of minor flare-ups. It is also wise for you to keep a fire extinguisher near the grill – and make sure that you know how to use it! In case of a major flare-up and you don’t know how to use the fire extinguisher, do not waste precious time fiddling with it before calling for emergency help.

4. Keep raw meats away from cooked meats. Using the same utensils or platter that held raw poultry, meat or seafood will encourage the spread of bacteria to cooked food. Make sure that there are clean utensils and platter ready beside the grill.

5. When grilling, be sure to use a thermometer to ensure that you have cooked the food to the minimum internal temperature that destroys bacteria.

Don’t:

1. Never turn on the gas while the grill lid is closed. The gas will build up inside the grill, causing a fireball to explode when you do light up and open the grill.

2. Don’t leave a grill unattended, most especially if you are enjoying the cookout with children. Remember that fires can double in size as each minute passes. Do not attempt to move a hot or lit grill. Keep in mind that the grill can stay hot for an hour or so after use.

3. Do not overload your grill with food. Too much fat drips on the flame can be the cause of a huge flare-up and might light nearby things on fire.

Relaxing in the outdoors and grilling is all part of the summer fun. However, if the unexpected happens, we at Physicians Premier, your Corpus Christi ER, are here to help.

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