Barbecue Safety Tips
When hosting a barbecue for family or friends, make sure to practice
important barbecue safety. Propane and charcoal barbecues can be dangerous
if safety precautions are not taken.
Inspection and Cleaning
At the onset of barbecue season, make a routine
inspection of the burner ports for rust or blockage
before firing up the grill. Expose any leaks
in the hose by spraying a mixture of liquid
soap and water onto the surface. If bubbles
begin to form and increase as you continue to
spray the solution, you have leaks.
Once the barbecue is in good working order,
set it down on a solid surface, preferably away
from the structure of your home. This area should
be well-ventilated and at a safe distance from
Propane and Charcoal Barbecue Safety
- A propane barbecue should
never be used on a balcony, or terrace.
- A charcoal barbecue can
be used on a balcony or terrace, but requires
a ten foot clearance from the building. A
fire extinguisher or source of water should
be easily accessible in case of fire.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
reports about 20 deaths and 400 injuries yearly
caused by the misuse of charcoal grills. Charcoal
barbecues should never be used inside the home,
car, tent, or trailer. When charcoal burns it
produces carbon monoxide that can be fatal if
there is not sufficient ventilation. That does
not mean that an open door or window will keep
you safe; the enclosed space will cause a build-up
of carbon monoxide that can pose a serious health
threat to you and your guests.
Barbecue Safety from Food Borne Illnesses
Now that your barbecue is safe to operate, go ahead and impress your guests
by preparing a great feast. How you handle the food is as important as
how well it is cooked. Be sure to sanitize your hands before making contact
with the food. Food-borne illnesses such as E coli, salmonella, and other
bacteria can cause serious health problems. Make sure to cook food thoroughly.
A meat thermometer is a handy tool that allows you to serve food without
that nagging thought of whether or not the meal is ready to eat.
Storing the Barbecue
Cleaning and inspecting the barbecue should
be part of your barbecue safety routine before
storing it away for the winter. Clean and dry
the unit, check for any damage, disconnect the
cylinder, and cover it up until next season.
Now that you have exercised barbecue safety precautions, you are ready
to fire up the grill, invite all your friends and enjoy a delicious feast.