Everyone loves a barbeque. As Memorial Day weekend approaches kicking off the unofficial start of summer, backyard chefs are dusting off their grills, eager to spring into the long-awaited barbeque season. Gas & charcoal BBQ cooking grills have become an essential part of our lifestyle. Unfortunately, cooking on gas and charcoal grills can also be dangerous. The use and storage of solid fuel or propane cooking equipment on patios and balconies have resulted in a number of major fires in the state of Vermont. Cooking is, and has long been, the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries.
As with other types of cooking devices, the two leading causes of structure fires involving charcoal grills are unattended cooking and placing combustibles too close to heat. In structure fires, the first items ignited are most commonly the exterior trim and wall coverings. The leading cause of gas grill fires is attributed to mechanical failure or a break in the gas line.
Here are a few tips that can make your barbecuing experience safer for you and your neighbor.
The use and storage of barbeque grills should be restricted to outside the residence. Never use barbeque grills for home heating or indoor cooking.
Charcoal lighter fluid should be properly stored, away from living areas of the home.
Charcoal & gas grills are sources of carbon monoxide (CO). This toxic, odorless, colorless gas can rapidly overwhelm you in an enclosed space.
Charcoal briquettes should be stored in a dry area. Damp or wet charcoal is sensitive to spontaneous heating.
Allow coals to cool for 48 hours before disposing. If you are unable to wait, douse coals with plenty of water and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place coals in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
Propane cylinders should be stored outside at least 10ft from building openings such as windows & doors.
Inspect grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
Never bring the propane tank into the house.
Never leave children or pets unattended near a hot grill.
Use long handled barbeque tools and flame retardant mitts.
When finished using your gas grill always make sure that you turn off both the barbeque and propane cylinder or natural gas valve (If connected directly your gas meter).