Thousands of Americans are injured year on year whilst grilling or using barbecues. When enjoying this popular American past-time there are risks involved that you should be aware of. Typically these risks are not from the products (or grills) themselves but rather how they are used.
Our top safety tips when using a barbecue this summer:
- Never turn on your gas supply whilst the grills lid is closed. Failure to do this will result in a large amount of gas building up in the hood of your grill. When you then light and open your grill a huge ball of fire will erupt from the grill potentially causing serious injury.
- Never abandon your grill. Just like an unwatched fire, an unwatched grill can cause serious issues very quickly – fires grow and spread fast. Ensure that you’re focused on grilling and if you have to leave the grill then find someone else to watch it for you.
- Don’t put too much food on at once. Make sure your grill is an adequate size for the amount of food you need to cook. If you put too much food (especially oily or fatty foods) a large amount of fat could drip and ignite and whilst this might just singe some eyebrows it could also be more serious.
- Don’t ever use a grill indoors. This is one of the most dangerous things you can do. People die every year from this simple mistake and you don’t want to be part of that statistic or pose a risk to your loved ones. Always grill outside. A grill inside is a fire hazard and can cause a build up of carbon monoxide, a very deadly gas that’s almost impossible for humans to detect.
- Keep your grill isolated. Your grill is a fire risk, keep it away from your house, carports, porch, etc. A lot of heat also comes off a grill and it doesn’t take a lot to start a fire. If in doubt, choose the safer option.
- Keep your grill clean. Don’t allow a build-up of substances on your grill, grease is flammable and a well maintained grill is a safer grill. If there are any issues they will be easier to spot with regular maintenance and cleaner.
- Watch for leaks. It seems obvious but gas leaks are dangerous and should be checked for. An easy way to check your pipe-work for leaks is to rub all the pipes and connections with a soap-water mix. Once you turn the gas on (see tip #1: Keep your lid open!) you’ll be able to see bubbles where any leaks are (or if the connections are too loose).
- Ensure there is nothing flammable nearby. That Piñata might look great near the grill, but it wont if it catches fire, move it away! In fact, anything flammable nearby (dangling accessories, tiki lamps, pillows, parasols, wicker furniture, etc.) should be at a safe distance from the grill. You might not realise but a lot of today’s goods are made with flammable artificial fibres – better safe than sorry.
- Have some water on hand. If you fill an old cleaning spray bottle with water you can use it to tame any flare ups, and the water wont effect the taste of your food.
- Keep your extinguisher close and know how it works. If the worst happens you need to be prepared, make sure you have a fire extinguisher that you know how to use. If in doubt don’t hesitate on calling 911 – before it gets out of hand.