With summer finally in full swing, it’s no surprise that July is National Grilling Month. Nothing says summer quite like firing up the grill with family and friends to enjoy some hot dogs, hamburgers, veggies and beans.

But along with smell of grilled goods comes the fire that’s cooking them – making June and July also the peak months for grilling fires.

We’ve gathered some tips (with the help of the National Fire Protection Association) to help you keep the fire where you want it – grilling your meal to perfection.

  • The grill should be placed well away from your house, deck railings, tree branches and any overhanging eaves or deck covers
  • Never leave your grill unattended
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup – even in the trays underneath the grill
  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year (check out the NFPA site to learn how)
  • If you ever smell gas while cooking with propane, step away from the grill and call the fire department. Don’t try to move the grill before help arrives!
  • Use barbecue utensils with long handles (example: tongs) to avoid burns and getting hit by splatters

And just in case the worst case scenario ever unfolds, keep a fire extinguisher nearby (or at least a garden hose or a bucket of sand). A grease fire can be controlled with baking soda. Put safety first when you’re grilling though, and all you’ll be extinguishing is your appetite!