Now that the warmer weather has arrived, many people are getting ready to start grilling food at the barbecue. In summer months, grilling is a tasty, fun, and inexpensive way to prepare food. It gets us out of the house, allows us to enjoy the weather, and gives us unique new options for preparing our food. However, barbecues and grills produce high heat as well as open flame and do pose a risk of burn injury. There are several things you can do to help prevent burn injuries caused by grills and barbecues:
1) Carefully read all the instructions that came with your barbecue. While it may not be exciting reading, the instruction manual which comes with your barbecue provides important safety instructions and tips. This is a good time to review those tips for safe grilling. Also, review proper use of your barbecue. Incorrect use of your grill can increase the chances of a fire or explosion.
2) Store barbecue implements, accessories, and fuel carefully. Many barbecue implements and accessories – including tongs and grill cleaning brushes – have very sharp edges which can cause injuries to children. As well, propane tanks can leak and even lead to explosions. Check propane tanks regularly for leaks and store them in a safe area outside your home, out of the reach of children. Lighter fluid, charcoal, and barbecue lighters can likewise pose a temptation for children, so store them in a safe area well out of sight.
3) Review fire safety and burn injury prevention strategies with your family. This is a great time to check the batteries in your fire alarms and to review fire safety procedures. Does everyone in your family know what to do in event of a fire? Does everyone know to stop, drop, and roll in the event that their clothing lights on fire? Now is a good time to review these rules, especially with children.
4) Stay well clear of your grill when lighting it. When lighting your grill, stand well back and be especially careful of any long sleeves, aprons, or oven mitts. When too close to the flame, these fabrics can easily catch on fire. Start your propane barbecue on a low flame and increase as needed. If you have a charcoal grill, use only a small amount of lighter fluid to prevent a flare up of flame. Stand well back and use a long barbecue lighter intended for charcoal grills.
5) Have fire extinguishing materials on hand. No matter how careful you are, grease can drip through the grill pans and cause larger flames which can lead to a fire. Be prepared with a working fire extinguisher or a significant amount of baking soda on hand to douse the flames if needed.
6) Before using your barbecue, check it. Before every use of your barbecue, check it carefully for corrosion, breaks in the lines that feed fuel to your barbecue, and any other problems. Before using your barbecue for the first time this season, go online to check whether your grill has been recalled due to any dangerous defects. You do not want to face an injury and product liability case due to a foreseeable accident.