Recreation & Holidays: BBQ Safety TipsA few simple barbecue safety tips may save more than your dinner
Before you begin
- Clean your barbecue to avoid grease buildup. Accumulated grease deposits frequently catch fire and are difficult to put out.
- Keep grill at least 10 feet away from your house or trees.
- Don't barbecue in the garage, on the porch or deck. Decks often have dry grass and debris under them and if a smoldering match drops between the boards, it could ignite the debris, the deck and your house.
- Keep children away from the grill.
- Avoid loose clothing that could catch fire during a flare up.
- Never use gasoline or paint thinner to start a fire as they will explode and or release toxins into the food
- Don't squirt or pour starter fluid onto a lit grill. Fires can readily flashback along the fluid's path and explode the container in your hands.
- Keep alcoholic beverages away from the grill. They are flammable.
- Never leave grill unattended.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that more than 500 fires and 20 injuries occur every year from gas grill fires and explosions of grills that have not been used for several months.
- Clean out venturi tubes that lead to the burner on gas barbecues. Insects frequently build nests in the tubes sometimes forcing the gas to find somewhere else to go.
- Check for propane leaks every time you replace the cylinder. Pour or spray soapy solution over the connections; if bubbles form, there is a leak.
- If there is a leak, do NOT use the grill until the leak is fixed.
- Check and secure all the connections BEFORE turning on the gas.
- Never start a propane barbecue with the lid closed as accumulated gasses could explode, blowing the lid off when the grill is lit.
- Don't lean over a gas barbecue when lighting it and avoid singed eyebrows, or worse.
- Buy propane only from approved compressed gas suppliers.
- Before getting a propane cylinder filled, check for any damages to it.
- Never store propane cylinders indoors, in the trunk of your car, or near any heat source.
- Turn off the propane fuel both at the grill and at the bottle after you have finished barbecuing otherwise a leak or faulty regulator may result.
- In case of fire -
- Turn off the burners.
- If you can safely reach the tank valve, shut it off.
- If the fire involves the tank, leave it alone, evacuate the area and call 911 for the fire department.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that every year about 20 deaths and 400 injuries are treated as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from charcoal grills.
- Do NOT use barbecue grills in enclosed areas such as your home, vehicle, tent, or camper, even if well ventilated. Charcoal produces carbon monoxide when burned which is odorless and colorless and you may not be aware of the danger until it is too late.
- Never use any flammable liquid other than barbecue starter fluid to start a charcoal barbecue.
- Remove the ashes after they're completely cooled.
- Always soak coals with water after cooking; they retain their heat for a long time.
- Keep damp or wet coals in a well ventilated area. During the drying process, spontaneous combustion can occur in confined areas.
- In case of fire - close the grill lid.
- Keep the grill at least ten feet away from any combustible material.
- Do NOT use any flammable liquid to start an electric grill.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions in the use of an electric grill.
- Reduce risk of an electrical fire. Verify the extension cord is rated properly for the amperage required for that electric grill
- In case of fire - disconnect the power
In any type of barbecue fire
- Dial 911 for any fire that threatens either personal safety or property.
- Never pour water on a grease fire because it will spatter and/or cause it to flare up.
- Use an approved portable fire extinguisher and/or cover with grill lid to smother flames.