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Charcoal Grill Safety Tips

Although a charcoal grill may not be as potentially explosive as a gas grill, charcoal does produce carbon monoxide (CO) when burned. For this reason never bring your charcoal grill or hibachi into an enclosed area such as your home, vehicle, tents or campers, even with ventilation. Also beware of storing a charcoal grill indoors until the charcoal is completely extinguished, as it will continue to produce CO fumes until then.

You can see the above warnings on the label of your bag of charcoal. Even so, each year about 30 people die and 100 are injured as a result of carbon monoxide fumes generated by burning charcoal.

To make sure your next barbecue doesn't go up in flames, the Home Safety Council recommends the following safety tips:

  • Designate the grilling area a "No Play Zone" keeping kids and pets well away until grill equipment is completely cool.
  • Before using, position your grill at least 3 feet away from other objects, including the house and any shrubs or bushes.
  • Charcoal should be left in the grill until cold to the touch or thoroughly soaked in water before disposal.
  • Only use starter fluid made for barbecue grills when starting a fire in a charcoal grill.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking.
  • Never bring a barbecue grill indoors, or into any unventilated space. This is both a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning hazard.