Summer is here and that means it’s time to fire up the grill for family backyard barbecues. barbecuing is a lot of fun, but did you know that from 2009 to 2013 U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis (Japanese heating device), or barbecues per year? The leading causes of these types of fires were a failure to clean the grills, having the grill too close to something that could catch fire and leaving the grill unattended.
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Tips For Backyard Barbecue Grilling:
- Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Further than 10 feet is even better if possible. This also means keeping your grill away from carports, garages, and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs, since the fire from the grill could flare up into the structure above.
- Clean you grill on regular basis. Grease and fat from all the yummy food you grill can build up, which provides more fuel for a fire.
- Check for gas leaks. You can do this by using half liquid dish soap and half water and then rubbing it on the hoses and connection. Turn on the gas and make sure the grill lid is open. If the soapy solution forms large bubbles, thats a good sign that the hoses have tiny holes or the connections need to be tightened.
- Keep decorations away from your grill. It is nice to have the area around your gill decorated, but for safety reasons make sure that hanging baskets, outdoor pillows and umbrellas are away from your grill.
- Keep a spray bottle of water handy. If there is a small flare-up you can spray it with water to instantly calm the flare-up down. Don’t worry the water won’t harm your food and your meal won’t be ruined.
- Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple of steps of your grill. Just as important as having a fire extinguisher is to make sure you know how to use it. If a fire occurs and you don’t know how to use the fire extinguisher, don’t waste time fiddling with, it call 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths happen when people try to put fires out themselves.
Never Do These Things When Grilling:
- Never turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. Having the lid closed when you turn on the gas can cause gas to build up inside your grill. Then when you go to light it, a fireball can explode in your face.
- Never leave a grill unattended. A fire can double in size every minute that passes. Plan ahead so your food preparation is done and you can focus on grilling.
- Never overload your grill with food. If too much fat drips on the flame at once, it can cause a large flare-up.
- Never use a grill indoors. In addition to a fire hazard of using a grill indoors, grills release carbon monoxide (a deadly, colorless, and odorless gas). This gas needs to vent in fresh-open-air or it may kill you, your family and pets.