June 20th marks the official start of summer, which means warm weather, camping, picnics and of course…barbecues! Summer is a time to kick back, have fun and enjoy the sun with friends and family. As always, though, safety should remain a priority. There’s a reason they say, “better safe than sorry!”
In the summer we enjoy many of the foods that we don’t normally get to eat over the winter. That means a lot of work in the kitchen along with firing up the grill for the first time in months. It’s important to use common sense when cooking or grilling to prevent unnecessary and hazardous accidents. Here are some suggestions to keep you and your family safe:
- In the kitchen, never leave food cooking on the stove unattended. Nearly half of all house fires start in the kitchen.
- When using a charcoal or gas grill, NEVER grill indoors. Grill in an outdoor area with plenty of ventilation. Grills should always be attended, just like stoves and ovens.
- Both indoors and out, keep knives and other sharp cooking utensils out of reach of children.
- When grilling with charcoal, NEVER add lighter fluid once the charcoal is burning.
- NEVER put water on a grease fire. It will only cause the flames to flare.
- DO NOT place your barbecue near wooden fences or walls, beneath a combustible roof overhead or even under a tree with low branches. Be extra careful about the area behind the BBQ where hot gases escape and could create a fire hazard.
- Check that the BBQ hose is in good condition. A damaged or cracked hose can send out a jet of propane that, if ignited, could result in a flame several feet long.
- DO make sure that your current smoke alarms are in good working order and that batteries have been replaced.
- DO invest in a monitored smoke, carbon monoxide and fire alarm. In 37% of the homes where fire and death occurred, the smoke alarm was inoperable due to the battery. Liberty Security can ensure a monitored smoke detector is always working and if fire is detected, Monitronics will dispatch a fire and rescue crew to your house within minutes – whether you are there or not.
For more tips on BBQ Safety, check out the TSSA’s webpage on Backyard Barbecuing Basics.
Written by Alex Watz