8 Safety Tips for Your Summer Backyard Bash
Summertime: the grill is on, the beverages are in the cooler, and friends and family gather outside to enjoy the late nights and summer fun. With all the activity going on in the backyard, it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on and cause an accident. According to the National Fire Protection Association, outdoor grilling causes an average of 8,900 home fires annually. Gas grills cause more of these accidents, as the NFPA states, which comprise of 61 percent of households.
Follow these summer safety tips to keep your BBQ cool and your backyard gatherings as lighthearted as summer ought to be.
Make Sure Your Grill is Stable and OUTDOORS
To cook things just the right way, make sure your grill is on a flat, stable surface to avoid dips and collapses. Make sure the grill is clear of overhanging objects like tree limbs, patio furniture, or electrical lines. The NFPA reports that 27 percent of incidents occur on terraces, balconies, or faulty patios. Summer is meant for the outdoors, so bring that grill out and AVOID using it in enclosed structures like a garage or tented area.
Clean and Clear
It may have been a while since you’ve fired up your trustee grill – make sure to clean all parts of it to ensure there is not any grease build up, which can cause flare ups or other unintentional fires. If using a charcoal grill, make sure the coals have cooled off completely before disposal.
Check for Leaks
You may have a leftover tank from last years season – double check the quality of the tank, hose, and connection to the grill. Check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.
Beware of Charcoal Starter Fluid
Lighter fluid or starter fluid helps get the party going but can also be a risk. Try not to overuse as this can cause explosions or immediate fires. Consider a charcoal chimney which uses newspaper to prolong the heat within the coals.
Keep the surrounding area clear from the grill, including pets and small children. This will help avoid any unnecessary mishaps that may occur while grilling up your favorite summer dishes.
Wait to Re-Light
When the flame goes out, do not act immediately as that can cause flare ups if there is excess gas or fluid. Wait a few minutes before reigniting the grill.
Dress for Success
The “Kiss the Cook” apron is always a hit but make sure you have on proper clothing while heading up the grill operations. Avoid loose clothing that may catch on the grill.
Prepare for The Worst
Fires are a possibility while grilling so stay ahead of the game. Have baking soda available to control grease fires, fire extinguishers or a bucket of sand for larger accidents. Being prepared will make things go alot smoother and keep your summertime memories and stomachs full.