Backyard barbecues during summer allow people to enjoy spending time with friends and family. However, around 7,000 people are injured in grill fires across the United States each year. While barbecues can be fun, they also pose a serious risk of fires and explosions if you aren’t careful.
Here are 6 safety tips to help you enjoy fun and safe barbecues this summer:
- Check for gas leaks. A simple method to check for gas leaks is to make a solution of dish soap and water, and spray or brush the solution over the hose and connections. If bubbles form when the gas is turned on, this means there is a leak. Turn the gas off, tighten the connections or replace the hose, and check again to ensure there are no gas leaks.
- Keep the lid open. When you turn on the grill, always make sure the lid is open. Gas can build up inside a closed grill, putting you at risk for an explosion once the lid is opened. Thus, when you start the grill, have the lid open to prevent a fire hazard.
- Don’t leave the grill unattended. Grill fires can double in size every minute. That is why you need to prepare beforehand so you can stay close to the grill while it is in use. This way, you can catch any flare ups and stop them before they turn into major fires.
- Keep the grill at least 10 feet away from structures. As a rule, you should keep your barbecue at a minimum of 10 feet away from your home, including garages, carports, overhangs, and porches. A flare up could ignite any nearby structures or decorations, so it is important to keep your grill isolated.
- Clean the grill regularly. Grease is a main cause of grill fires. Before you use the grill, open the lid and inspect the inside. Bird nests and other debris that got into the grill during winter storage could pose a fire risk, and old grease buildup may cause a flare up. Clean and sanitize the grill before use, and scrub it thoroughly each time you use it to prevent grease fires.
- Keep a spray bottle of water and a fire extinguisher close by. A water spray bottle is helpful to put out small flare ups without ruining your food. If a larger fire begins, you need to have a fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it properly to protect yourself.
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