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Nothing says summer in the U. S. like a sizzling BBQ. The weather is fine and it’s time to get back to nature by cooking over an open flame in the backyards and campgrounds of Massachusetts. Whether you’re firing up the coals, gas grill, or a good old-fashioned campfire, outdoor cooking and grilling is a great way to make healthy family meals all summer long. But before you break out the BBQ sauce, be sure to follow safety tips to keep your BBQ experience free from injury.

  1. Always keep grills outside and away from exterior walls.
  2. If using a gas grill, check to be sure all hoses are tight and secure. If you smell gas while cooking, step away from the grill and call the fire department or 911.
  3. When cooking on a charcoal grill, never use gasoline, kerosene or add additional lighter fluid once the fire has started.
  4. Clear a 3-foot area around campfires in the wild and keep water close in case you need to put the fire out quickly.
  5. Keep grills clean and free of residue.
  6. Don’t leave a grill unattended, and keep children and pets away from an open flame.
  7. Use long-handled cooking utensils to keep your body as far from the heat source as possible.
  8. Be sure to keep food cold until it’s time to cook and use a meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking temperature for meats. You don’t want bacteria joining your party!
  9. If you sustain a burn, remove clothing and accessories from the burn site, run cold water over injury to cool the skin, and call 911.

When you practice safe grilling, you’re more likely to have time for fun and creativity in outdoor culinary adventures! Grilled peaches from the farmers’ market anyone?

Join the conversation: Post your favorite BBQ recipe or tweet @MassGov a photo of your BBQ fun!

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