At Home Safety, Fire Safety
Even More Safety Tips
Long winters make for a busy summer BBQ season. While you gather with family and friends for BBQs, make sure you're doing everything you can to be safe and avoid disaster. Follow the below pointers to make grilling safer.
BBQ Safety Tips
- Keep BBQ grills on a level surface away from the house, garage and, most importantly, children and pets. When grilling on your patio, make sure that all furniture and accessories are far from the grill. On balconies, it is always safer to move festivities to available lawn space.
- Never grill inside the home or garage, even if it is raining.
- Never light a propane or natural gas BBQ with the lid closed – it should always be open. Gasses can build up inside the closed area and explode if the time between turning the gas on and attempting to light the grill is too long. If you aren’t able to get the barbecue lit the first few tries, the gas should be turned off and let to dissipate for a moment before you attempt to light it again.
- Always store gas cylinders outside and away from your house, and be sure the valves are turned off when not in use. Check the tubes regularly for cracking, brittleness, and leaks in the connections. To determine if there is a leak, simply pour soapy water over the line with the gas valve turned open. If gas were escaping, bubbles would appear. Should you detect a leak, immediately turn off the gas and don’t use the grill until the leak is repaired.
- Your BBQ will be generating high temperatures, so keep it covered whenever possible. Keep lighted cigarettes, matches, and open flames away from the grill, and move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and grease. Use a can to catch excess grease.
- Make certain your BBQ is kept at least 2-3 feet away from wood or vinyl siding. Placing the grill too close to your home, especially one with vinyl siding, can result in melting or burning, or even a fire. Also, keep in mind that while vinyl siding and composite decking have a higher “burn point” than wood, it’s also easier for these materials to melt and discolor, which can result in a costly claim for property damage.
- For charcoal grills, use only starter fluids designed for your grill and never use gasoline. Limit the amount of fluid used. If the fire is too low, use dry kindling and add more charcoal if necessary. To avoid a flash fire – a fire that spreads rapidly through the vapours of an ignitable liquid – never add more liquid fuel to a lighted grill.
- When using bamboo or wood skewers, soak them in cool water prior to use so they won’t ignite on the grill.
- Never allow burned coals to smolder in any container on a wooden deck, and make sure to soak your coals before disposing of them by wrapping them in heavy-duty aluminum foil and putting them in a non-combustible container away from the house.
- After grilling, make sure the BBQ is turned off and the burner flames are out. Also make sure the gas supply is turned off and the lid is closed.