Grilling season is here at last! Everyone loves a good BBQ, whether you’re making classic burgers, or something more adventurous.
No matter how comfortable you feel around the grill, it’s important to remember that things can turn deadly in the blink of an eye. In fact, grills/ hibachis/ barbecues are a part of roughly 10,600 home fires per year.
These fires also cause an annual average of:
- 10 civilian deaths
- 160 reported civilian injuries
- $149 million in direct property damage
So, to ensure your family and guests (and food) are always as safe as possible, here are 8 tips to keep in mind.
Don’t be fooled by how simple it seems. You turn on the tank, you turn on the burners, and hit the ignitor. That’s it, right? Perfectly simple and perfectly safe right? Wrong.
Charcoal BBQs may seem a bit more dangerous because there’s fluid and matches involved. But 84% of grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas.
That’s why we always need to:
1. Check For Leaks: If this is a brand new BBQ, or just the first time you’re using it this year, it’s crucial to test the hose for leaks.
Give it the soap test. Simply apply a light soap and water mixture to your hose. If you see bubbles, do not use this grill until you replace the hose.
At the same time, if you smell gas while you’re cooking, call the fire department right away and get yourself and your loved ones away from the BBQ. Do not try to move it to a safer place.
2. Keep Your Grill Clean: Dirty BBQs are the cause of nearly a third of all grill fires.
A little bit of cleaning goes a long way. Be sure to regularly remove grease/ fat buildup on the actual grill, as well as in trays/traps down below.
3. Pick Your Spot Carefully: You might be tempted to position the BBQ close to the home and under an awning, so you can BBQ in the rain. This isn’t safe. Always make sure the overhead is clear of anything like your eavesdropping, soffits, or tree branches. You should also never use your grill inside a tent (no matter how big it is) or in a garage.
Also, be sure to keep it clear of any exterior walls or siding. Do your best to keep it out of high traffic areas where kids and pets can sneak up on you from behind.
If you feel like going a little bit more old-school, you may opt for the classic charcoal grill.
Always remember to:
4. Use Only Charcoal Starter Fluid: Never try to start/maintain the fire with any other type of flammable liquid or accelerant. Also, be sure to keep the fluid far away from the open flames and away from children.
5. Never Add More Fluid to the Fire Once it Has Started: Even if you’re not happy with the flame or heat. There are far better/safer ways to increase the heat.
6. Let Things Cool: Be 100% sure that the coals and the actual unit have completely cooled before trying to put the grill away or disposing of coals. Also, put the coals in a metal container.
7. Stay Present: Do not leave your post in front of that grill! It’s very easy to be distracted or pulled away by kids, pets, or guests.
Stay with your grill at all times. Your home will be safer and your food will taste better.
8. Crowd Control: We know how difficult it can be to control stimulated kids and pets at a family gathering. Try your best to position your BBQ in an area that won’t see a lot of foot traffic.
We’re sure that you already do most of these things, but it never hurts to refresh the basics. We want to make sure your BBQs, cottage weekends, and patio parties are remembered for all of the right reasons.
Stay present and stay safe! Also… please save us a chicken burger.