Grilling Safety (or how not to burn down your house)

The volunteer fire trucks in the Pocono Mountains are yellow! I can still picture them like it was yesterday. Eight years ago, my friends and I rented a house and were celebrating the holidays. It was six in the morning, we were all asleep and our house was on fire. A loud knock on the door and frantic yelling from a neighbor walking his dog got our attention. We were all hung over after a night of partying and grilling. As the smoke started to fill the house, my friend grabbed a fire extinguisher. To our luck, it was a tiny pint-sized one that can gracefully put out a few birthday candles, but didn't fare so well with a burning deck and side of the house. My first thought was that we all need to put on our pants and get the hell out. My second thought was that we just lost our security deposit.

As they say, grilling is all fun and games until somebody burns down the house. The charcoal we discarded and thought was completely out was NOT. To make things worse the ashes were disposed of into a paper bag with a jumbo sized bottle of lighter fluid right next to it. There is only one word to describe the whole situation, and it starts with a hash-tag……#EPICFAIL.

Here are some tips to avoid burning down your house (from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association) :

Allow coals to burn out completely and let the ashes cool at least 48 hours before disposing

Dispose of cold ashes in a non-combustible container and be sure no other combustible materials are near by

If you must dispose of ashes before completely cooled, place them in heavy duty foil and soak with water completely before disposing in a non-combustible container

What is your most memorable #EPICFAIL grilling moment?