Deck Safety Tips – How to Grill On a Hardwood Deck

grilling on deck tips

Keep Your Owner’s Manual
Read your owner’s manual from cover to cover. Because there are so many types of outdoor grills, you can’t assume that they all work the same. Your grill’s owner’s manual will tell you the best way to use and maintain your grill. It also should guide you to proper safety guidelines that will keep you and those around you safe. Your grill’s warranty and customer service information are important pieces of information that your grill will contain.

Look Up…Do You See The Sky? GOOD!

Don’t grill under a covered porch or other enclosed area. Carbon monoxide poisoning is not something you want to take a chance on, ever.

What’s a Really Quick Way to End a Good Party? Start a Fire, of Course!

It’s just not a good idea to put your grill near anything that’s even remotely flammable. So, before you place your grill under some overhanging branches, or eaves, think.  The same goes for putting your grill near siding (wood, vinyl, whatever!), eaves, or any painted surface. These things melt or burn near high temps.  If a fire DOES occur you can prevent it from spreading if you have a working fire extinguisher available (a garden hose might help as well) or baking soda for grease fires. Don’t forget to keep yourself safe too! Use grilling utensils with long handles, flame-retardant grilling mitts, and wear no-frills clothing (aprons, etc.)

Protect Ya Deck!

Salt, oil, ketchup, mustard, beer, wine…these are just some of the things that make the food you cook on a grill taste great. They’re also sure to end up on your decking. To help prevent spills from staining your deck, use a grill mat. These handy mats can be placed under and/or around your grill before you start cooking. After everything’s cooled down, you can remove them to ensure your hardwood deck’s color stays even.

Steady As She Goes

Think of your grill like a boat and you as the Captain. I know water and flaming hot charcoal don’t sound like they go together, but in this case, they do. Keeping your grill on stable footing is like making sure your boat doesn’t capsize because of a strong wind. If your grill isn’t steady, just a bump can tip it over and start a fire. Does your grill have any fancy electronic bells and whistles? Whether you have extra lighting, or a rotisserie make sure any cords are tucked away somewhere safe where guests and kids can’t trip and fall.

The Obvious Often Goes Unnoticed

The next few rules are pretty much no-brainers. However, they are still worth repeating:

  • Stand Guard! Are there any kids running around? How about that crazy Uncle Ralph who likes to drink with his morning paper? Leaving a grill unattended is a recipe for disaster. So, make sure there’s always a designated grill guard to prevent accidents.
  • Fire – Keep it Under Control: A great way to keep your fire from flaring up is to make sure your wood chips, coals  is spread out evenly. If you’re on a gas grill, there’s really no great reason to keep the controls on high. Lower them.
  • Is Moving a Hot Grill Ok? Seriously?!?! Anyone who suggests moving a hot grill should have their head examined. Even if your grill has wheels, moving it over a deck (or anywhere for that matter) is just a dumb idea. Why take the chance of spilling, flare-ups or tipping over? There’s no good reason to ever move a grill while it’s in use, ever.
  • Burn Notice: After you’re done cooking, you need to be extra vigilant. It takes a good hour for a grill to cool down. Make sure children know that even when the fire is out, the grill is still very hot.

If you have your own grilling story you’d like to share with others, share them!

From everyone here at, we hope you have an awesome and safe summer grilling on your deck!

2 thoughts on “Deck Safety Tips – How to Grill On a Hardwood Deck”

  1. Neighbor splashed some grill grease on my Advantage Lumber Ipe deck installed 6 years ago. Deck has been cleaned and had UV Plus applied three times so far. What is the best method to remove the spots, before I clean again?
    Thanks, we love our Ipe!

    Gerry Lyall

  2. Gerald Lyall,

    What I would try first is Messmers Part A deck cleaner. This is a concentrated cleaner that I have seen pull up a lot of stains out Ipe. If this doesn’t work then you can try a pressure wash at about 1000 psi with a fan tip. If neither of these work you can always sand the material and refinish. Personally I would try the Part A cleaner first as it is the easiest and cheapest fix and most of the time works perfect. I hope this helps please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Thank you for your time.

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