Outdoor grilling is a favorite summer activity in the U.S. It’s fun, easy, and produces great tasting food. But grilling also poses a safety risk, whether you are using a charcoal or gas grill. Your hands are exposed to high heat and susceptible to burns. Here’s how to grill safely:
Always wear gloves.
When turning food or removing items from the grill, always use potholders or insulated gloves to protect your hands from the heat. The flame could flare up without notice.
Use long utensils.
Use long utensils that are meant for grilling when placing food on the grill, turning it or removing it so that your hands do not get too close to the flame.
Avoid grilling on windy days.
The winds can cause the flame to jump which may burn your hands or start clothing on fire.
Keep your distance.
When measuring the temperature of the grill with your hand, keep your hand at a safe distance from the grates. Start by feeling the heat from a far distance and slowly bring your hand closer to the grill.
Don’t light the grill with matches.
When lighting a grill, always use a long-handled lighter rather than matches. This will protect your hands from the flame. With charcoal, don’t use too much lighter fluid.
If you are outdoor grilling this season, you should also be aware of what a serious burn may look like. If you accidentally burn yourself, and your skin is red without blisters, you can treat this at home with ice and pain relievers. If your skin has blisters or is white and/or leathery, visit the emergency room or a hand surgeon right away. You may need antibiotics or surgery.
For more hand safety tips, or to find a hand surgeon near you, visit www.HandCare.org.