Fire is the most destructive force in the universe and you are inviting it into your backyard for a little cookout. First thing you need is a fire extinguisher. Next you need to know your fire and know how to control it. Every year grills and smokers cause thousands of fires, hundreds of injuries, dozens of deaths and millions of dollars in damage. You need to know how to cut fuel supplies, extinguish fires and call the fire department. Always have one person in charge of the fire at all times, a fire marshal if you will. You should also know something about treating burns.
2. Food Safety
Bacteria eats every kind of food you can think of, even brussel sprouts. It grows at any temperature above freezing and stays alive until that temperature hits around 165 degrees. The basic rules are: Suspect Everything, Keep it Covered, Keep it Cool, Get it Hot!, and Use your Head. Remember you are more likely to get food poisoning than you are to get the flu.
Location is everything when it comes to placing your grill or smoker. Every year hundreds of people cause fires to their houses, garages and patios because they didn't put their grill or smoker in the correct location.
4. Gas Safety
The number one cause of gas grill fires is an obstruction in the path of the fuel. This largely takes place, behind, underneath or inside your grill where you do not look. This means you need to regularly inspect your gas grill for problems. At the first sign of problems turn off your control values, turn off the fuel tank, and disconnect everything. Gas grills produce a great deal of heat that can melt through hoses, knobs and other parts. Assume everything is third degree burn hot.
5. Charcoal Safety
Charcoal grills are the cause of far more fires that gas grill. The number one problem with charcoal grill is lighting the charcoal. Lighter fluid causes all kinds of problems and you should really find a better way to light your coals. What really burns the hair off your face is adding lighter fluid to hot coals. Lighter fluid turns to a heavy gas at a relatively low temperature.