When the weather is right for grilling, many households take their meals outdoors to enjoy warmer days and longer daylight hours. It makes for ease and fun. Following essential safety tips for outdoor BBQs keeps your family and guests safe and ready for the next outdoor gathering.
Preparing Your Grill
Whether you’re grilling with gas or charcoal, appropriately preparing your grill will greatly reduce the chance of injuries.
When grilling season begins, check your tank’s seals and any hoses for leaks. A simple way to test is by mixing a soap and water solution in a spray bottle and spraying the hose lightly. When the gas is turned on, any leaks will create small bubbles in the solution.
A sulfur smell similar to rotten eggs is a clear indicator that your tank’s seal may be leaking or malfunctioning. Have it serviced immediately, or replace it with a new tank. Always open the lid of your gas grill before lighting it. Gasses can become trapped inside the grill, causing a flash fire that can burn the facial area of the person trying to light the grill.
Charcoal grills may rust or develop holes in the bowl that holds the charcoal. Ensure your gas grill is fireworthy to prevent escaped flames that cause ground fires. Leveling your grill for stability can prevent tipping.
Use care when applying charcoal starter fluid. Never add fluid to an already lit fire to increase the flames. Fire can travel up the liquid stream, causing a burst of flames leading to severe burns.
Grill Away From Structures
Your home, patio, porch, or garage can easily be the scene of a house fire when grills are placed too close to structures. An average of over 9,000 home fires are caused each year by gas grills due to gas leaks. Keeping an eye overhead also prevents fires from reaching low-hanging tree branches.
It is easy to become distracted while grilling. Outdoor venues are the perfect place for children and pets to run and burn off extra energy. Keep little ones and animals safe by creating a safety zone around your grilling area to alleviate injuries caused by falls leading to contact with grills and hot cooking surfaces.
Always have someone watch the grill to prevent food from burning and keep fires under control. Keep cloth hot pads and cleaning rags away from open flames and hot surfaces.
Consider Your Grilling Attire
Even though it is rare for clothes to catch fire when grilling, when this occurs, it can easily lead to death. Knowing how to extinguish a clothing fire is critical. Waving arms and running is often a reflexive response.
Unfortunately, this only leads to the acceleration of the fire. It is imperative to remember the stop, drop, and roll method and attend to any burns once the fire is extinguished. If you or a loved one have experienced a grilling-related injury and need legal assistance, consider consulting an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer for guidance.
Extinguishing a Fire
Removing accelerants becomes critical when an out-of-control fire results from grilling. Adding water is almost instinctual, but taking simple actions and keeping a few items on hand can keep you safe when containing a grill or BBQ fire.
- Close or replace the lid on both gas and charcoal grills.
- Turn off the fuel supply to gas grills.
- Close the vents on charcoal grills. Oxygen supplies can cause the flames to intensify.
- Keep a small fire extinguisher available.
- Have salt or baking soda nearby to extinguish small fires.
Practice Food Safety
Properly store food before and after grilling to prevent food poisoning. Food poisoning can lead to violent illness, causing extended bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. It is best to put away all uneaten food within an hour of finishing your meal to prevent foodborne illnesses.
Drink fluids to stay properly hydrated if you experience any symptoms of food poisoning, and know when to see a doctor if symptoms persist.
Safety is the Key to Memorable Gatherings
Any meal on the bbq or grill can be the focus of many memorable outdoor events. Safety awareness will always keep your gatherings on a positive path and your family safe from grilling hazards.