Barbecue Safety Tips

Barbecue Safety Tips

Every year, barbecues cause numerous injuries and thousands of dollars of property damage through carelessness. Even those who work with combustible products safely at work will make mistakes and ignore safety practices at home (I know of a fireman who severely burnt his hand because he didn’t take the necessary precautions – explain that one at the station house).

Most barbecue fires can be prevented, so here are a few tips for safe barbecuing:

After purchasing a barbecue, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions for assembly and use.

It may sound obvious, but don’t use a barbecue indoors. Fire and carbon monoxide poisoning are a real threat. Keep the barbecue a safe distance (over 3 metres, or 10 feet) from the house.

Keep the gas tank in an upright position. If it’s not in an upright position, the relief valve may not work properly. Also, make sure the burner ports are clear of rust and dirt.

Check for leaks by putting a soapy solution on the connection between the tank and hoses. If bubbles are visible, tighten the connection. Don’t use the barbecue if the bubbles continue as it means it is leaking gas. Never use a match to check for leaks.

When lighting a gas barbecue, keep the lid open to avoid gas buildup and light the barbecue as soon as the gas is turned on. Keep your face away from the grill.

Use a barbecue lighter with a long handle rather than matches. It provides extra reach and so reduces the chance of singed hair or a burn to the body.

When you have finished barbecuing, turn off the burner and the tank valve.

Never use gas to light a charcoal barbecue. Always use barbecue lighter fluid and let it soak for five minutes before lighting. Read and follow all the directions on the can.

Make sure coals are cool before disposing of them.

Avoid wearing baggy sleeves when cooking over a barbecue.

Remember, the entire barbecue assembly is hot. Keep children away.

Now, enjoy fun, safe barbecues.

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