With the arrival of warmer spring weather across the U.S, it is time to start thinking about summer outdoor activities. One of the most popular of these is backyard barbecues. As people begin to prepare their yards and get ready for summer fun, it is worth thinking about some common safety issues concerning barbecues. Fire risks, in particular, are common concerns during backyard barbecues. From improper placement of barbecues and fires getting out of control to equipment malfunctions, there are inherent risks involved in even an ordinary occasion like a barbecue. Here are a few tips to ensure that your barbecues this summer are safe and fire free.
Monitor the Grill
Fires resulting from grease or out of control flames on a grill and proximity to combustible or flammable items are a principle cause of preventable fires during the summer. Taking care where positioning the grill and making sure to monitor it during use are extremely important parts of fire prevention. Grease fires and flames catching nearby fabrics, brush, or other flammable surroundings is a serious concern when operating an open flame.
Most charcoal and gas grills are safe and reliable, but you should still never leave one unattended for prolonged periods of time or operate one in an enclosed space. If your grill happens to be an open fire pit, the same oversight applies. Outdoor fire pits are great for backyard barbecues and ambiance, but can easily lead to fires if unattended or mismanaged.
Keep a Fire Blanket & Extinguisher
You should always have a means of putting out a fire at home. Keeping a fire extinguisher and fire blanket on hand is a good idea during backyard barbecues as a responsible safety precaution. Fires resulting from grease cannot be extinguished with water, so make sure that in addition to a fire extinguisher you have a fire blanket to smother out of control flames. For summer outdoor barbecues, consider keeping a fire extinguisher in the garage nearby any grills or open flames. Proper home fire prevention will ensure that your summer barbecues are fire damage free.
Knowing how to properly operate the grill is a big part of safe outdoor barbecuing. Gas and charcoal grills are different and require different care in operating. Take care with gas and lighter fluid and exercise the same caution around open flames. Grill malfunctions are a leading cause of fires–and gas can be especially dangerous, so exercise care with any grill.