Summertime means its time to start planning that outdoor barbecue. For some, the love of barbecuing is so great that when rain threatens the feast, they think nothing of moving the barbecuing to an enclosed area. This can be a deadly decision.

Charcoal briquets, often used in barbecuing, release carbon monoxide as they burn. Carbon monoxide (CO) exposure can result in a range of health effects, from headaches and nausea to death. More than two dozen people die and hundreds suffer from CO poisoning each year when they burn charcoal in enclosed areas.

Here are a few tips on keeping your summertime barbecue safe:

  • Never move a lighted grill indoors, regardless of the weather outside or your appetite for thick, juicy hamburgers. Opening a window or garage door or using a fan may not reduce carbon monoxide to safe levels.
  • Do not build a charcoal fire in an indoor fireplace. The fire produced by the briquets is not hot enough to force the combustion products upward through the chimney and poisonous carbon monoxide will stay in the room.
  • Do not use a grill on top of or under any surface that will burn, such as a porch or carport. The wooden deck attached to your house is not a good place to barbecue.
  • Place the grill in an open area out of doors. Keep it away from buildings, shrubbery and dry vegetation. Ten feet is a good measure. Set it away from the flow of pedestrian traffic.
  • Keep nearby windows and doors closed.

Please don’t let one of this summer’s greatest pleasures turn into a summertime tragedy.

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