When cooking a meal, whether indoors or out, it’s important to follow these simple and smart tips to help you stay safe. A lit grill or hot stovetop can cause burns or fires … and not just to the juicy hamburgers you’ve got going. To avoid injury to yourself or damage to your property, make sure you know how to stay safe while preparing a hot meal.

The most common hazard when cooking with a stovetop or grill is an unattended cooktop fire, which can cause property damage, injury or possibly even death.

Avoid leaving anything unsupervised on a hot surface, especially oils or oily foods. When a cooking oil reaches and exceeds its autoignition temperature, it will catch fire. Different oils have different ignition temperatures. And not only that, but cooking oil vapors are flammable too and have a lower flash point.

Cooking outside

An outdoor cooking surface can be dangerous too. That’s why it’s important to keep the grill away from your home and other combustible structures, such as the garage. Flareups from the grill may lead to a much larger fire. The proper amount of clearance away from a structure can be found either in local codes or in the specified instructions from the grill’s manufacturer. Apartment buildings may have additional codes for grilling. Speak to your building manager if you have concerns or questions regarding grilling.

If you grill using propane, store the tank outside. A leaking propane tank in an unventilated environment can lead to accumulated gas that can ignite and cause an explosion.

Know more than just the recipe

Read all safety, installation, use, operating and maintenance instructions to know how to safely use your appliance, whether it’s an oven or a smoker. These materials generally provide information on minimum clearances to combustibles, proper use and storage of the appliance and fuel, and proper venting techniques.

For the most part, use common sense. When operating an oven range or grill, stay nearby and alert. Never walk away from a lit grill or hot stove, as most issues can be avoided before they occur by being mindful and attentive.

Avoid wearing loose clothing around a grill or oven because getting too close to open flames or heating elements could catch clothes on fire before you feel anything.

Similarly, pets with wagging tails, cats on counters and children with too much curiosity may hurt themselves or create a dangerous situation if left unattended near an open flame or heating element.

Whether you’re preparing a meal in the open air or in a kitchen setting, avoid creating a hazardous situation and focus on staying safe and making something delicious.

SafeBee Top Three

  1. Be alert and stay near any heating elements, whether it’s a grill or a stove top, while they are in operation
  2. Keep an eye on children and pets near stoves and grills
  3. Read all instructions that come with a cooking appliance as it may have vital safety or operational information