With the Memorial Day just behind us and 4 July fast approaching, we are undoubtedly in the season of outdoor grilling and barbecues. However, all that fun and joy of cooking outside does come with a pinch of a risk of fire. This is why it is important to take fire safety at barbecues seriously.
Around 9000 fires a year start as a direct result of barbecue accidents. So, if you are planning to grill food outdoors, make sure to follow these basic rules for fire safety at barbecues to minimize the risk of something going seriously wrong. It always pays to have some fire safety training, but even if you do not you can do these things.
5 Things to Do for Fire Safety at Barbecues
1. Handle Flammable Gases with Extreme Caution
Propane, butane, or any other flammable gas, which are useful for cooking are among the most dangerous substances, we use on daily basis. In fact, these gases account for an overwhelming majority of all grilling accidents, some 80% of them.
The gas containers come with simple guidelines on how to use them, so just stick to these instructions, even if you consider yourself a veteran grill master. Even though wood and coal are less likely to cause a fire doesn’t mean that you should disregard caution.
2. Have a Method to Put Out a Fire Close at Hand
Preparing food on an open flame may be fun and enjoyable, but it can also be a cause of the fire. That’s why it is important to have a contingency and make sure that you can put out a fire if it starts. Fire extinguishers are the most common method, but in some cases throwing sand on the fire might be more effective.
You need to know how to use a fire extinguisher, as well as keep it in good condition (meaning having fire safety experts inspect it). In addition, you need to be sure that you have the right type of extinguisher at hand, lest you make a bad situation worse.
3. Clean Your Grill
If you are using your grill for the first time after a while, make sure that you clean it from any debris or residual grease. Either of those things can easily catch fire when you fire up the grill and the situation can easily escalate from there. Cleaning the grill takes very little time and is generally a simple task. Don’t let laziness cost you a major fire.
4. Check for Leaks
When using a gas-powered grill, always be sure to inspect the gas lines, which lead to the burner. Gas leaks can occur when the line is obstructed and bursts as a result of the pressure buildup, or it can simply be mechanical damage which causes the leak.
In any case, a gas leak may not cause you problems at first, but if the gas builds up, it can cause a major fire or even an explosion. You should be able to smell if there is excessive gas in the air, at which point you need to remove any flame from the gas container and let everything cool down.
5. No Smoking or Other Open Flames near the Burner
Even if you haven’t detected any smell which might warn you that there is a gas leak, make sure that no open flame goes anywhere near the burner, especially while you are setting everything up, just to be on the safe side.
Speaking of proximity, make sure that the grill and any open flames are at least 10 feet away from your home. This way, even if there is a fire, or the wind picks up some embers, the fire cannot affect your house and cause more devastation.
Having outdoor barbecues is a quintessentially American thing, but you still need to make sure that you are safe while doing it. Following a few simple rules can ensure that there are no mishaps at your barbecues.
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