Cookout Safety Tips

As the summer season approaches, people can't wait to start barbecuing. But before you light up that grill, read INSIDE EDITION's safety tips.

For the first time, Rose Salem, a mother of two, says she's bravely venturing outdoors to use her grill.

"I barely learned how to turn on the grill," she admits.

INSIDE EDITION invited Ron Hazelton, host of Ron Hazelton's House Calls to Salem's Westchester, New York, home.

His mission is to point out various tips that all families should follow for safe grilling.

The most important safety tip? Check your propane tank and hose for gas leaks using a spray bottle of soapy detergent. Look for bubbles, which will appear if there is a leak.

After tightening a leaky valve, Hazelton uses a wire brush to clear any obstructed holes in the gas burners created by spider nests or built-up grease. This allows gas to flow freely.
"If the burners themselves are obstructed and with the right combination of gas in here you could get an explosion," Hazelton explains.

Hazelton says after igniting the grill, check the visual inspection hole to safely make sure it's lit. When grilling use long utensils and avoid wearing loose clothing that could catch on fire.

And remember, not only does the get hot, but the iron lid is also pretty heavy.

Hazelton also demonstrates safety tips for charcoal grills.

"Once the fire has started never put more charcoal lighter fluid on. It's possible the fire can travel back up the stream," he says.

Hazelton warns of another possible danger: "Kids have a tendency to want to see what's going on. They can grab hold of the grill and try to pull themselves up for a peek and the whole thing can tip over."

He says by following these simple precautions, you and your family can enjoy a safe barbecue season.