We LOVE holidays and traditions.

Celebrating the contribution and achievements of American workers on Labor Day feels good. The first Monday of September, we show our gratitude for the strength and prosperity of the United States, and the contributions of the American worker, simply by not working.

Labor Day weekend signals the end of summer, the closing of pools, and the beginning of the football, and futbol, season. It is observed, by some, as the last opportunity to fashionably wear white.

For lots of Americans, Labor Day = chilling and grilling. Food is on par with safety for us, so we’re sharing our top 5 tips for grilling safely.

Top 5 Tips for Grilling Safely

  1. BBQ, charcoal, and propane grills, as well as smokers, should only be used outdoors.
  2. Watch your dime: be sure the 10 foot area around your grill is clear and safe. The grill should not be near your deck railing, eaves or siding, overhanging branches, or garbage containers.
  3. Clean the grill with a wire brush, and remove fat and grease.
  4. Keep pets and children away from the grill area.
  5. Never leave your grill unattended.

Charcoal Grills

Charcoal chimney starters are the safest way to start your charcoal grill. The Grilling Spot is a great place to learn more.

If you use starter fluid, only use charcoal starter fluid, and ONLY use it BEFORE you start the fire. Once the fire is going, do not add fluid.

Keep fluid out of reach of children, and away from heat sources.

After grilling, let the coals completely cool, then dispose in a metal container. Never dump from balcony or deck.

Propane Grills

Check the gas tank hose for leaks at the beginning of the grilling season. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.

If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.

If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.

If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

It can happen to anyone…

In December 2012, ESPN SportCenter’s Hannah Storm was terribly burned while prepping her grill to cook dinner for her family. After wind blew out the flame, propane gas pooled on her grill and became an explosive fireball when she attempted to re-ignite the grill. Her face, neck, chest and hands suffered first- and second-degree burns.

Storm feels that it is “important to tell and share this story because it was a very simple mistake that I made, but it was a very common mistake. People all over the world grill and they grill all the time, and most of the people that I know really don’t understand the proper procedures…”

“Fires and burn injuries are not only traumatic for the person, but for the family and community as well,” says Lorraine Carli, vice president of Communications at NFPA. “Hannah is very courageous to share the personal details of her fire experience and burn injury to remind the public to take steps to prevent fires and avoid injuries.”

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We are impressed with her bravery, sharing her scary story will help so many people.

For more HOME SAFETY TIPS, share your email at the bottom of the page. Shine on!