BBQ Safety tips at home

Source: St. John Ambulance

Ontario is the best place to take advantage of street festivals and social activities. However, don’t let the fun distract you from your number one priority – safety! Thankfully, St. John Ambulance is here to help you keep your head above water by providing you with the latest health and safety tips.

One important area of safety in barbecue maintenance. It’s tempting to jump right in and start throwing meat on the grill, but it’s dangerous if you aren’t careful. Follow these do’s and don’ts of barbecuing to make sure that the only things on fire at the dinner table are your grilling skills.

  • DO keep your grill away from flammable objects. Decorations, canopies, and trees are all examples of harmless backyard items that turn into fire hazards with your barbecue nearby.
  • DON’T start your grill with the lid closed. Propane gas can build up inside the hood and ignite when you open it.
  • DO use a plastic reusable barbecue brush to clean up gunk from the grill. If you skip this step, the charred scraps could seep into your next meal!
  • DON’T use wire barbecue brushes on your grill. The wires can break off in the barbecue, and then stick to your burgers when you cook them. 64 Canadians have experienced this misfortune since 2004 – for many, surgery was required to remove the bristle.
  • DO keep a fire extinguisher nearby. It’ll help minimize damage and injury should a blaze start from your grill.
  • DON’T leave a barbecue unattended. If it catches fire, it won’t take long for the flames to spread to nearby objects, or worse, people. You are responsible for your own cooking equipment, so you should be there at all times to prevent injury.
  • DO investigate potential gas leaks. Often, propane is tinged with a chemical that makes it smell like rotten eggs so that you can easily identify when there is a problem with your barbecue. If you suspect a leak, turn off your grill and rub all the connections and hoses down with a soapy solution. Turn the gas back on – wherever bubbles form, there is a leak. Carefully disconnect your propane tank and return it to where you bought it from, either for repair or replacement. Be mindful to keep it away from fire – it’s explosive!
  • DON’T put too much food on your grill at once. With so many fatty pieces of meat on the barbecue, it becomes a fire hazard. All it takes is one piece of food to catch fire, and the whole grill could go up in flames. Instead, maintain a few centimeters between each piece of food to isolate potential fires.
  • DO keep a first aid kit nearby. Burn treatment works best if it is administered early; keeping the correct tools close at hand ensures that this is possible.
  • DON’T use a grill indoors. Grills produce carbon monoxide – a lethal gas that is undetectable without an appropriate detector nearby. Outside, it can disperse, but it builds up quickly indoors. Never use a grill in an enclosed space, or even under a canopy; the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is too high.

A Community News blog post

West Toronto Support Services writes articles about events and news in the community that closely align with our agencies mission of living independently and promoting your health & wellness.   Articles posted under community news don’t necessarily mean we directly endorse them – they are articles of interest that you can pursue further.   We believe a healthy community is a diverse and connected community!

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