A barbecue can be the perfect way to spend a summer day… until you set something on fire. Keep everything and everyone intact with these grilling safety tips.
Having your friends over for a barbecue is guaranteed to be a great time, but you do need to take some precautions. Accidents can happen, and you don’t want to become another statistic.
To keep you safe, here are 8 grilling safety tips to keep in mind when you’re barbecuing.
1. Control the Fire
Fire is one of the most destructive forces in the world; when you have a barbecue, you’re willingly inviting that force into your backyard. You should always treat fire with the respect it deserves.
Always have at least one person watching the fire at any one time. When a fire is left unattended, it can quickly turn ugly. You should always have a fire extinguisher on hand.
Every year, there are injuries and fires caused by people operating smokers and barbecues. Don’t let it happen to you; always make sure you keep an eye on the fire.
Even if you do keep a close watch on the flames, accidents can still happen. If you’re hosting a barbecue, make sure you or someone present knows how to treat burns in the event that someone gets hurt.
2. Read the Manuals
You might think you have experience in operating grills, but these kinds of devices all have different operating ranges. Don’t make the assumption that a new grill is going to operate in the same way as your previous one. This is not always the case, and it could result in an accident.
Before you host a barbecue, you should take some time to read the operating instructions. Yes, it can be boring, but it doesn’t hurt either…
3. Place the Grill in the Right Place
It’s vital you place the grill in the right location. If you place your grill in the wrong place, the chance of there being a fire goes up significantly. You should look into the manual to find out how far you should place the grill from other objects.
On top of following the manual specifications for placement, you should also consider the need to keep the grill away from other people. You should never place a grill in an area where there’s going to be people walking past. This is especially important if your barbecue is going to be attended by children who probably won’t take as much care as they should near the grill.
4. Keep the Grill Free of Grease
You also want to make sure you keep the grill as clean as possible. When there’s a lot of grease on your grill, it can cause it to flare up unexpectedly.
Whether you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, you need to make sure grease isn’t building up on your grill over time. You’d be surprised at how much grease can accumulate after just a handful of cookouts.
Again, if you’re unsure in this area, you should refer to your grill’s manual. In there, you’ll probably find detailed instructions on how to keep your grill clean and relatively grease-free.
5. Keep Drinking to a Minimum
If you’re responsible for operating the grill, it should go without saying that you need to be careful. If you drink an excessive amount of alcohol around the grill, focusing can become difficult.
Quite often, when there’s an accident involving a grill, the person who was involved was drunk. Don’t get us wrong here. Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to drink during a cookout, but consider only having a beer or two to begin with. And once the fire is out and the food’s been served, you can cut loose and have a few more drinks.
6. Know How to Put out a Grease Fire
A grease fire should be put out by depriving it of oxygen. You should be able to cover the grill and close the air vents to achieve this.
Don’t ever put water on a grease fire! It won’t put it out and all it’ll do is spread the fire around.
You should always keep a fire extinguisher on hand whenever you’re operating a grill, as this will put out the flames without any issues.
7. Know When to Call 911
If a fire is starting to get out of control and you no longer feel confident in your ability to put it out, you should call 911 and ask for the fire department. Sometimes, a grease fire might burn so hot it’s impossible to get close enough to put it out.
If you feel like a fire is starting to get dangerous, you should call for help as soon as possible. The longer you wait to call, the worse it’s going to get.
8. Watch the Smoke
While the smoke from a barbecue can smell great, it isn’t a good idea for you to breath it in. The smoke from a barbecue contains a range of dangerous chemicals, such as carbon monoxide. It also has cancer-causing substances that form as the grease burns.
Make sure the smoke isn’t blowing towards people and that you only enjoy the smell from a distance. Of course, it should go without saying that you should never try to use a grill indoors. Not only will your health suffer, but your home will get damaged as well.
Practice Good Grilling Safety
The key to safe grilling is to make sure you’ve read the manual for your grill, don’t overestimate your abilities and to keep relatively sober while grilling. Make sure someone always pays attention to the flame when it’s lit and that no one operates the grill while they’re intoxicated.
If you keep these grilling safety tips in mind, then you’ll pave the way to a summer full of fun and safe get-togethers!
Need some new barbecue recipes to impress your friends with? Then check out our delicious recipes!