We can argue all day about what tastes better, charcoal or gas. Hands down, it’s charcoal. But that wonderful flavor may come at a cost. Every year, about twenty people die from carbon monoxide poisoning related to charcoal barbecues.

Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. So you might think you have a clean burning fire, and no even know you’re breathing in something harmful. Most people don’t even know they’re being poisoned until it’s too late. Never use a charcoal barbecue indoors.

Lighting the barbecue can also be dangerous. If you are not using something like an electric starter or chimney, then you’re likely using some sort of accelerant. If you’re using an accelerant, only use lighter fluid. Put it directly on the charcoal, and let it sit for a bit before lighting it. Never pour lighter fluid on a lit fire, as the fire can move up the stream and ignite the container causing it to explode.

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