Summer is just around the corner and once Memorial Day Weekend rolls around, we’ll all be ready to bust out the barbeques and start grilling. It’s important to remember that there are some basic fire safety precautions when dealing with grills and barbecues of any size. At ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning & Restoration Services, we’ve seen even the most innocent of backyard cookouts turn into fire damage disasters. Follow these tips for a safe and tasty grilling session.
Always Keep One Guy or Gal on the Grill
Never leave a grill unattended. Just as you would never leave a pan on an active stovetop, don’t walk away from a grill without someone watching it. A wandering flame could catch hold of a nearby flammable object at any point. It also doesn’t matter whether there is food currently on the grill, as the heat emanating from the grill can also be a fire hazard. A grill stays hot for about an hour after use, so be aware of this time frame as well.
Create a Combustible-Free Zone
You should always place your grill or barbeque on a non-combustible surface like concrete or asphalt. Never place a barbeque on a wooden deck or nearby dry grasses or shrubs. This includes hanging festive decorations around the barbeque itself or near it. Decorations are usually made with synthetic fibers that burn quickly and at high temperatures. And as any good grill master know, always have a fire extinguisher handy in case of an emergency.
In addition, your grill should always be at least 10 feet away from the nearest structure. Keep the grill away from overhangs as well as sudden flare-ups could reach it and catch it on fire. Never grill inside. Not only because of the risk of starting a fire but because the smoke released from the grill contains carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can prove fatal if inhaled in large quantities.
Maintenance is Key
Grease and fat will collect on your grill over time and it’s your responsibility to regularly clean it. Grease fires are one of the most dangerous and quickly growing fires out there. Grease and fat act like fuel once ignited and can get out of control in a matter of minutes. Always scrape your grill after use.
You should also regularly check your grill for gas leaks. You can accomplish this by rubbing watered down hand soap onto the hoses and connections of the grill seeing if bubbles form after turning the gas on. The bubbles are an indication that the connections may not be tight enough, or you have holes in your hoses.
If you’re an aspiring grill master, you should definitely attend to the fire safety side of grilling. Cooking is the main cause of home fires and fire-related injuries. If something does happen and you find yourself in a situation where your home has suffered from fire or smoke damage, you know who to call.
ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning & Restoration can be on site quickly and begin the restoration process as soon as possible. It is our goal to return your property in Westchester or Fairfield County back to pre-loss condition, so you can get back to your life.