Whether you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, there are always dangers involved in grilling outside. While grilling is fun (and produces great tasting food!) it’s essential that you protect your hands during the process. Don’t forget, your hands are the reason you CAN grill!
When deciding whether to grill, lighting your grill, gauging the heat and actually cooking food, follow these five tips for grilling safely outside:
- Don’t grill in high winds. Be sure that you choose a calm day to grill. High winds can cause the flames on your grill to jump around. It could burn your hands or cause your clothing to start on fire.
- Don’t use matches to light your grill: Regardless of whether you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, always use a long lighter to light the grill. Matches put you at risk of burning your hands.
- Keep your distance when measuring the heat. Getting your grill to the right temperature is important to producing perfectly cooked food, but use caution when gauging the heat. Start with your hand at a safe distance from the grates, and slowly bring your hand closer to feel the heat.
- Use long utensils: There are specific utensils used for grilling. These utensils are much longer than your average kitchen tongs or spatula. Use grilling utensils if at all possible. This keeps your hands farther away from the flame. You can typically purchase grilling utensils at any store that sells grills.
- Wear gloves: This is the easiest way to protect your hands from a flame. Flames can be unpredictable, so it’s safest to wear insulated gloves (or even pot holders) when placing food on the grill and turning food.
Make this summer an enjoyable one by staying safe while grilling. A single accident can cause permanent damage to your hands. Don’t let it happen to you!
What to do in case of an accident
If you’ve burned yourself while grilling, try first to determine the severity of your burn. If your burn is third or forth degree, visit the emergency room immediately.
Use these guidelines as a reference:
- First degree: Your skin will be red.
- Second degree: Your skin will be red and will have blisters.
- Third and/or fourth degree: Your skin will be white and leathery. The full severity may not be known until you visit the emergency room.
Learn more about hand safety at www.HandCare.org.