Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fire Safety Tips for Grilling

It's peak BBQ and grilling season, so now's a good time as ever to review some important safety tips when "playing with fire," i.e., cooking outdoors over an open flame, regardless of whether it's a charcoal or gas grill. While much of this is common sense, it's easy to get distracted by kids or pets, or when talking to friends, or simply while enjoying the weather (or an "adult beverage"). So please take the time to review these tips to reduce the chances of starting a fire--other than the one you're cooking with!

*NEVER use a BBQ grill indoors. Not only is it a fire hazard, but you also run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

*Make sure a responsible person is always tending the grill, i.e., someone sober enough and attentive enough to keep pets and little children a safe distance away, and to look out for flare-ups. After grilling, keep kids and pets away from the grill until it's cooled down in order to prevent burns or accidents.

*Keep outdoor games and activities a safe distance away, especially when they involve flying objects such as frisbees or balls, or people running around.

*Don't set up your grill under low branches or awnings, or too close to your house or other structures. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 10 feet between the grill and the house or other structures. And don't set your grill up on or near pine straw, which is very flammable. Set it up on a level surface in an open area.

*If you must use a flammable liquid to start the fire, ONLY use charcoal fluid and NEVER add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquid after the fire is lit. I know, as a kid you probably saw your Dad do it without any problems, or maybe you do it yourself, but why keep tempting fate??

*When you're done grilling with charcoal, let the coals die out completely and then dispose of them in a metal container, preferably lidded. Even better, douse the coals with water before disposing of them, to ensure there aren't any smoldering embers.

*When you're finished grilling on a gas grill, turn off the grill AND the propane tank.

*If using a gas grill and you start smelling gas during grilling, you probably have a gas leak. THIS IS BAD. Step away from the grill right away and call your fire department. Keep everyone else away from the grill, and don't try to move it. An exploding gas grill or propane tank can take out a house.

*If you live in an apartment and want to grill on your terrace or porch, first make sure you're allowed to do so (some apartment complexes and even some states ban grilling on apartment terraces)--and then be VERY careful since you'll be grilling in a semi-enclosed area.

If you follow these safety tips, you'll greatly reduce the risk of accidental fires or burns.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company


  1. I liked ur post! Hope there are more to come

  2. Thanks for your comment, and for reading my blog! Safety is just as important as the right ingredients and cooking techniques, so it'll continue to be a topic for future posts.
    Zestfully yours,