Marie-Claude Dulac

By Marie-Claude Dulac

May 20, 2014

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BBQ: Home Safety Tips When You Fire up the Grill

Article revised on 17 August 2017

In the warmer months of the year, we definitely enjoy the thrill of the grill. Unfortunately, major fires often result from the improper use of barbecues.

Here are a few tips that you can follow to ensure the safety of your home when you fire up the grill.

  • When purchasing your barbecue, make sure that all the hoses were properly connected at the time of set-up and that there are no damaged parts.
  • If you have a propane barbecue, be sure you know the precautions to take for safely using this fuel.
  • Never leave your barbecue unattended when in use.
  • Maintain proper minimum clearances to combustibles, as specified in your barbecue’s manual. As a rule of thumb, 36 inches (or one meter) of clearance is required between all sides of the appliance and the surrounding combustible materials.
  • Never oil barbecue grills while in use.
  • Always use your barbecue outside, even when it’s raining. Cooking juices dripping onto the burners results in flare-ups with flames that can be several feet high.

In the spring

  • Give your barbecue a thorough clean, including the burners, the kettle and the area underneath the cooking surface (behind the control knobs).
  • Inspect all the hoses and connections for any cracks or damage that may have occurred while not in use, to ensure that there is no gas leak.

If you have a charcoal barbecue:

  • Be very careful with lighter fluid and other such products. You might create a spectacular fireball if you use too much.
  • Never add lighter fluid to a lit barbecue. Lit briquettes do not necessarily release a flame. The addition of lighter fluid may cause surprising reactions.
  • Ensure your barbecue is stable, on a flat surface, and that it can’t be knocked over or blown over by the wind. Hot briquettes spread over a combustible surface may cause a fire.
  • Always use a non-combustible container to dispose of the ashes. Hot embers may be present in the ashes but their heat imperceptible, sometimes for more than 24 hours following use.

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