Is there anything better than coming home from work on a weekday, cracking open a cold one, firing up the grill and taking in the aroma of grilling meat on a summer night?

Few things can top that during this time of year.

With all the great memories that grilling on summer nights brings, it’s essential to be safe. Safety should be our number one priority, but it can be easy to forget to take the proper precautions.

Before you start grilling, make sure to take the following safety measures:

Grill outside and away from structures

This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people fail to follow this simple rule. Grills produce smoke when they are in use, and you don’t want the smoke alarm going off regularly.

Keep a safe distance from structures when grilling. Many people forget how hot the grill will get and are too close to siding and vinyl fencing, which will ultimately end up melting after too much time exposed to the heat.

Check your grill for leaks

After your grill is in a safe place, make sure that there are no leaks in the tank hose. You can check by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.

Keep your grill clean

Nobody should be cooking on a dirty grill. Some people believe that leaving the fat, grease and chunks of meat from the last grilling session add flavor. Nope. This could potentially lead to fire hazards and other problems as you grill.

Like your nose and teeth, keep your grill clean.

Keep it open when you start your grill

Do you like having both eyebrows? If you do, you should never have the lid closed as you start your grill.

For example, if you have the lid closed and turn the knobs to let the gas out and start the grill, the gas will stay in the area. When started and opened, this could create a fireball of hair-singeing fury.

Stay safe, keep the lid open and light your burners individually to avoid any potential problems.

No water on grease fires

Be prepared to put out fires if they start. Hamburgers are notorious for starting grease fires, and you need to put them out as soon as possible. However, you should have baking soda ready at a moment’s notice in case this happens. Water does not put out grease fires, and you’ll probably need to file an insurance claim if you try.

Don’t Forget To Clean Up

Remember to keep your grill clean, by removing leftover grease when you are done cooking. Cover your grill tightly to put out any coals if you are using charcoal. If you need to dispose of your charcoal, make sure the coals are completely extinguished by soaking them in water. Once you are confident, they are out, place them in a metal container.

Now that you’ve had a refresher course on grill safety, you’re ready to be the grill master of all of your cookouts this summer!