an illustration of a an outdoor kitchen grill causing a tree fire
Illustration: Eric Larsen
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Prevent Fires

How to ensure your new cook center won't endanger you—or your home:

Grill: Position it at least 10 feet from combustible materials, such as wood siding, deck rails, and tree branches, and build in storage for a fire extinguisher.

Gas: Check the line for leaks. Mix 1 part dish soap to 2 parts water. Brush the solution on the hose and connector fittings. Turn on the gas, but don't light the grill. If new bubbles form, you have a leak. Tighten the fittings; if that fails, replace the hose and fittings.

Electric: GFCI outlets are required; it's also good to put the kitchen on its own circuit, one that's easily accessible via the control panel in your house. Use only extension cords, fans, and lights that have Underwriters Laboratories (UL) outdoor ratings, because they stand up to UV exposure and extreme temperatures.
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