Whether your outside barbecue uses charcoal, wood, propane or natural gas, don't even think about firing it up until you are sure it's safe.

Whether your outside barbecue uses charcoal, wood, propane or natural gas, don't even think about firing it up until you are sure it's safe.

Thoroughly clean your grill each season. Grease buildup can cause a fire that cannot be easily extinguished. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your home or other combustible surfaces. Never use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof. It is both dangerous and illegal in many areas.

COOKING WITH GAS

Each season, disassemble the gas lines between the shut-off valve and the burners. Scrub everything with soap and water and blow out using a high-pressure air nozzle.

The burners themselves need to be wire-brushed and all of those tiny holes need to be free of obstructions.

Check and secure all gas connections. A leak can be fatal.