As the weather continues to warm up and more Canadians are getting vaccinated, you may be looking to host a barbecue for friends and family. Barbecuing is a staple summer activity but can have some safety hazards, which is why we’ve gathered some helpful BBQ safety tips to keep in mind before firing up the grill.
1. Read the instruction manual for your BBQ
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is always important to check the manual before using any appliance, especially one involving fire. This tip is one of the easiest ways to ensure BBQ safety. Even if you have owned a grill before, every model is different, so make sure to refer to the instruction manual for specific information on your grill.
2. Always keep an eye on the flame
The most dangerous element of a barbecue is the fire used to cook the food. You should never leave a flame unattended, regardless of a propane or gas BBQ. If you have young children, an adult should always supervise a child if in close range to a barbeque to avoid harm. Additionally, we recommend keeping a first aid kid nearby in case of any burns or other minor injuries while barbecuing.
3. Keep your barbecue clean
This BBQ safety tip is essential for those with gas barbecues. When all sections of your barbecue aren’t clean, it’s easy for bugs or other debris to block easy gas flow. If you see any blockages in your gas barbecue, turn off control valves, turn off the fuel tank, and disconnect the entire grill. Then, take the time to clean your grill thoroughly, making sure all problems are resolved. For more BBQ safety tips on how to properly clean a gas barbecue, check out this article.
4. Clean grease off of your BBQ
When you are done cooking on your grill, it is important to clean its surface so grease doesn’t build up over time. Whether you use a gas barbecue, charcoal barbecue or a smoker, grease can easily build up, even after a few uses. So ensure to clean both the top and bottom of your grill before using it again to avoid flare-ups or other issues.
5. Avoid alcohol consumption while using your grill
An easy BBQ safety tip to remember is to have a clear head. If you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage during your cookout, avoid drinking while cooking on the grill. With all of the potential hazards of using a grill, it is always best to focus on what you’re doing without the added risk of alcohol and a flame.
6. Be aware of the products you use on the barbecue
Cooking a high quantity of red meat and chicken with charring can cause HCAs, or Heterocyclic Amines, which are cancer-causing substances. Thankfully, this risk can be minimized by following these guidelines:
- Use marinades (which can reduce the risk by as much as 98%)
- Do not overcook foods
- Keep grill temperatures relatively low (under 600-degree cooking temperature)
- Use thinner or smaller cuts of meat (kebabs are great)
7. Never use your grill inside
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but it is still important. Your grill will work outside, rain or shine, so even if it’s pouring rain, make sure your grill stays outside.
8. Open the barbecue lid before cooking
If you start up your gas grill before opening the lid, the propane will be under extreme pressure. Propane is a highly flammable gas, and when under pressure, a fire can easily start. Keeping the lid open will allow the gas to dissipate safely.
9. Use long-handled cooking utensils
To avoid any burns, it’s best to use long-handled cooking utensils or tongs specifically designed for barbecuing. Check out stores, like The Home Depot, for a variety of BBQ tools and utensils.
10. Ensure your barbecue is stable
Placing your grill on a flat surface will prevent any injuries or fires. For extra BBQ safety, consider using a grill pad or splatter mat to protect your deck or patio.
Keeping these tips in mind while using your barbecue this summer will decrease any chances of injury or fires, which could directly affect your home insurance policy. If you have any questions about the impact of fires on your home insurance policy or your specific fire coverage, please contact a member of our isure team.