Article by: Jackie Edwards
Did you know that from 2009-2013 US fire departments responded to approximately 8,900 home fires a year involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues? And on average these fires resulted in 10 civilian deaths, 160 injuries and $118 million in direct property damage. A 2016 report by the National Fire Protection Association highlights the dangers associated with home grills from failing to clean grills properly after use, placing the grill next to a flammable material or experiencing a gas leak. And that's before you consider any other potential safety hazards associated with the food itself. So here’s some advice to help ensure your summer barbeque is a complete success!
Follow equipment guidelines
With any home grill, you should always read the instructions fully before using it for the first time. Place it a safe distance from your home and clear of any flammable materials, such as decking or fencing. Make sure it’s in a safe and secure location with sufficient ventilation and unlikely to be knocked by people or pets. 83% of home grill fires are from those fueled by gas so be sure to follow any relevant safety advice. Check for leaks, keep gas cylinders upright and if ignition fails, wait a while before re-attempting so any excess gas can clear away. If you're looking for an alternative to gas, there are charcoal and electric grills available too.
Preparation is key
The leading cause of grill fires is failure to remove leftover grease. By adhering to some simple preparation techniques and safety tips, you'll be able to minimize any fire risk. Cleaning your equipment after use is vital, removing all traces of grease. Make sure you use quality grill brushes with no loose wires, appropriate clothing and avoid consuming alcohol if you're the one in charge of grilling. For extra safety, have a fire extinguisher nearby and don't be afraid to call for help immediately if a fire begins.
When it comes to the food, don’t overfill the grill to avoid excess fat and flare-ups. Trimming any unnecessary fat off will also help. Avoid charring the meat as this is known to have associated health risks. Make sure you don't use the same utensils for raw and cooked meats and keep food efrigerated until it’s ready to go on the grill.
A summer barbecue is meant to be fun. Just follow these tips for a safe and memorable outdoor experience everyone will remember.
Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash