You’ve bought your grill, and you’re looking forward to those holidays and weekends with friends and family and the smell of grilling or smoking meat wafting over your patio and through the house, but where do you place the grill on the patio?
The grill should be placed in a well-ventilated area and at least 10 feet away from the main house per the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (USCPSC) recommendations. The grill should not be placed under covered patios or near combustible materials and should be on an even, flat surface.
Let’s look at why you need to position your grill in the safest possible position, considering the proximity to the house, the amount of traffic through that area, and where and how the fuel should be stored.
Your Grill Should Placed At Least 10 Feet From The House
Every year, hundreds of homes, garages, and awnings burn down due to the improper placement of grills on patios. This unfortunate situation is largely avoidable if there are some simple precautions when placing the grill on the patio.
To this end, the minimum distance recommended by the USCPSC is ten feet from all structures, while manufacturers suggest a three-foot clearance. While ten feet may not always be possible, you need to place your grill as far from your home.
There are a few logical reasons for you to do this. Firstly, fire risk and flammable material within that safety radius are unsafe. You risk combustion if the wind blows embers or the grill capsizes for any reason.
The second reason is that of smoke. While it may smell great, smoke billowing through windows and doors leading into the home will leave the interior smelling of smoke, which may be challenging to remove.
The 10 feet clearance will allow smoke to be blown away from the house and significantly reduce the fire risk.
Your Grill Should Be Placed On An Even Surface
Placing your grill on a solid flat surface is also a good idea, as a grill that is uneven or unstable risks getting knocked over by people passing by, and this, of course, can cause burns to those people or damage to the surroundings.
The surroundings in question may range from plants, grass, and the deck itself to the house, and nothing will ruin a barbecue faster than having to deal with injuries or a fire. Adult beverages are inevitably involved with most outdoor grilling sessions, so an unstable grill is a potential recipe for disaster.
The Grill Should Be Placed On A Fireproof Surface
Aside from an even surface, especially if you use a charcoal or wood grill, your grill should be placed on a surface that will not burn should hot embers or coals fall onto it. Many homeowners have beautiful wooden decks, but hot coals on wooden decks will damage them.
So, to combat this, you can use a special fireproof or fire resistant material, a mat, or a solid piece of material that is specially placed for the grill. Ideally, your grill should be on concrete or a fire-treated material to reduce any risk of combustion.
Your grill should NOT be placed on grass, but sand is ok, and you could find a steel base and fill it with sand or any similar material that is not flammable.
Do Not Position Your Grill Under An Awning Or Cover
When cooking meat, we all have seen the flames flare up when they burn fat, and this is why you should never place your grill under an awning or any other overhanging cover, as these are often highly flammable and that would be catastrophic.
You also don’t want to roll the awning away while cooking and then roll it back out again afterwards, rather keep the flames and heat away from such areas as the heat can damage materials in range or above the fire.
The Grill Should Be Placed In A Well Ventilated Area
Also, having an overhead cover can prevent smoke from dissipating, and you also want to place your grill in a well-ventilated area so that the fire gets enough oxygen and the smoke can flow away from the house and the grill.
The Grill Should Be Placed In A Low-Traffic Zone
Another consideration when placing a grill on a patio is to position it in an area with little or no traffic. So don’t position your grill between thoroughfares as this increases the chance that someone will come into contact with a hot surface and burn themselves.
It is also inadvisable to have the grill positioned where kids are running around as this will create a risk of injury whether they touch or bump the grill or even knock it over, spilling hot coals and embers onto the floor.
Aside from the safety element, it will be easier to move food, sauces, spices, drinks, and marinades between the kitchen and the grill, where there is easy access, and you are not competing with other people in that space.
Consider Your Fuel Source Before You Buy A Grill
Before putting down dollars for a grill, you need to consider where it will be placed and then decide what type of fuel will work best for that position. Gas would be better if you positioned the grill on a surface that could burn as gas doesn’t produce embers and coals.
If you have a designated outdoor area on the patio with a floor that is not combustible or flame retardant, you can opt for a coal or wood grill. With coal and wood, you can store your fuel anywhere without any real risk, but if you are buying a gas grill, you need to ensure that the cylinder can be stored safely.
Placing your grill on a steady surface, sufficiently away from any structures and people, and on a floor that is not combustible will ensure that you can grill in complete safety without the risk of ever burning your house down or causing injury to yourself and others.
Taking the time to assess the available space and area on your patio before buying your grill will also tell you what size grill would be suitable for that space, and this will pay good dividends for you over the years as you enjoy hassle-free grilling!