Grill Heat Aid 9 Grill Safety Tips for your BBQ
According to the National Fire Protection Association, outdoor fires account for an annual average of 10 deaths, 140 injuries and $75 million worth of direct property damage. Start your spring cookout season right with these fire safety protection guidelines:
- Locate Your Grill Wisely
Keep your grill or BBQ pit away from your home, trees or patio to prevent an accidental fire. A stray spark or knocked over grill can be dangerous. Though it may be obvious, you should only use your grill outside – indoor fires can produce harmful carbon dioxide fumes. Both grills and fire pits should have a 3-foot radius surrounding them. Keep kids, pets toys, etc., outside of the radius. Only the person grilling should get any closer.
- Keep Your BBQ Grill Clean
A clean fire pit or grill is a safe one, so tidy up after cooking. Use your brush to scrub grill racks and get rid of any grease produced by cooking meat. Once your coals are cool (douse them with water or spread them out and wait), throw them out in a metal trash can – metal won’t catch fire.
- Never Leave Your Grill Unattended
Never walk away from a cooking flame, whether it’s in your grill, fire pit, BBQ or in a backyard tiki-torch. If you have to run inside for some more burger patties, ask someone else to watch the grill. Furthermore, keep your eyes on kids and pets, as they may not understand fire safety as well as you do.
- Teach Your Kids Fire Safety near the BBQ Grill
Once your children are old enough to learn about the dangers of fire, teach them about backyard grill and fire-pit safety. They should know how close they can get to a fire, what do do if sparks escape, how to stop, drop and roll, and the right way to extinguish flames. Show your kids where you keep your fire extinguisher and how to dial 911 in case of an emergency.
- Open the BBQ Grill Lid First
Open the lid of your propane grill before you start the fire. This prevents heat from building up out of your control. Once you’ve opened the lid and added your food, you can close it to maintain the right cooking temperature.
- Use Fire-Starting Liquids with Care
Lighting a fire with liquid starters is an easy way to begin the cooking process. When you use these products, maintain proper fire safety precautions. You may pour some of the liquid on your logs (for a fire pit) or the charcoal (for your grill) before you start cooking. Letting the liquid seep into the materials will allow them to burn faster. Let the logs or charcoal sit for a minute before lighting them. Never add lighter fluid to a fire that’s already burning. The fire can travel up the stream and out of the grill or pit.
- Avoid Loose Clothing Near the BBQ Grill
While wearing airy clothing in spring feels nice and cool, it can be dangerous when grilling or barbecuing. Wear tighter clothes around the flames so a stray hem doesn’t catch fire. Be sure your kids do the same when sitting near a fire pit. Be aware of awnings, picnic table covers, and other outdoor fabric items as well.
- Keep Extinguishers Nearby
Keep a shovel, sand or dirt, a fire extinguisher, and water near your fire pit. Should some of the flames spread beyond the pit, you can use the shovel to place dirt or sand on the fire. This cuts off the fire’s oxygen supply and puts it out – fire needs oxygen to burn. When you’re done with a fire pit, spread the ashes to help them cool. Wait until they are no longer hot to go back inside.
- Use Smoke Detectors
A smoke detector warns you in the event that your home catches fire. Even though you keep your grill away from the house, a strong wind could catch a hot coal or spark. Should your home or patio catch fire accidentally, the smoke detector will let you know. You should also check the batteries at least twice a year. The device won’t do you any good if it doesn’t work.