10 Everyday Backyard Hazards and How to Fix Them

All Up In Your Grill
Because grill use involves fire, there's a certain level of danger inherent to cooking out. ŠiStockphoto/Thinkstock

Grills are great for cooking up scrumptious seared foods. And in the wrong hands, they're wonderful for starting fires and causing explosions. Knowing a few basics about your grill can be the difference between scorching some hot dogs or making your fingers look like wrecked wieners.

First, some fire safety basics. If you don't have the proper space for grilling, don't do it. So if you have only a cramped apartment balcony, starting a charcoal fire is a fantastic way to burn down the place in a hurry. Also, dispose of hot coals properly by letting them burn all the way down before you put them in a sturdy metal container.

Propane grills require potentially explosive gas in order to heat your burgers. Leaking or damaged tanks are problematic. You'll also run into trouble if you let too much gas fill the grill when you're trying to light it; this can mean a big boom of the worst kind.

Finally, a lot of you know how much fun it is to suck down a few alcoholic beverages while basking in the smoke from a hot grill. Overdo the brew, though, and suddenly a benign fire can become a burn hazard to the third degree.

So enjoy your grill, but do it in a smart way. You'll wind up in one piece and your food will, too.