Let’s make sure we keep things safe and sane by taking a moment to think about Barbecue and Fire Pit safety.
During the summer months, cooking outdoors keeps the inside of your home cool. From hamburgers and hot dogs to lip-smacking-good ribs, barbecue grills get a workout during the summer. So let’s talk about how to keep you and your family safe when firing up the grill:
- • Grills should always be used outside, in a well ventilated area.
- • Grill should be stationed away from the home, deck railings and away from any low hanging tree branches or plants.
- • Never leave the grill unattended, especially if you have children and/or pets.
- • Keep the grill clean by removing grease and fat build-up; it also prevents unwanted flame-ups.
- • Clean or replace any trays that sit below the grill and collect food waste, oil and other grill debris as they can become a fire hazard.
- • Make sure to keep the unused portion of charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid well away from the lit grill.
- • Store unused charcoal briquettes, lighter fluid or other accelerants in a dry, cool, safe area when not in use.
Propane can be found in both liquid and gas form. Since it is a naturally odorless gas, an additive is added to the gas to give it a distinct odor so you can smell if the gas is present.
Under pressure, propane is a liquid. When you hook up a propane tank to the gas grill, the tank is opened which allows propane gas to leave the tank and power the grill. Did you know that liquid propane is extremely cold? It’s so cold that it can cause freeze burns if it comes into contact with the skin.
One of the most important parts to propane use is how it is stored. A propane tank should always be transported and stored upright, and proper propane storage requires the tank be in a temperature controlled area. If you store a propane tank in an area that’s susceptible to high temperatures, such as the Las Vegas Valley in the middle of summer, there’s a risk of the pressure release valve opening and releasing gas, which is a fire hazard. Keep your propane tank in the shade, or better yet, a climate controlled area to keep the tank from overheating.
During transport, even if it is empty, the tank should always be secured. You can secure the tank with a safety strap, the seatbelt or some other container to prevent the tank from tipping over.
It’s important to remember not to transport more than four (4) propane tanks inside an enclosed vehicle at one time. You can carry more than four if you are transporting the tanks in the bed of a truck and they are secured to prevent escape.
When grilling with propane (or natural gas), remember to stand back when lighting the grill and make sure to close the gas valve after you are finished cooking on the grill.
Fire Pit Tips
Fire pits are a great way to enjoy summer evenings outdoors and whether you are roasting a few marshmallows, having a drink, telling stories, or just listening to the snap, crackle and pop of the wood, you still have to be vigilant about fire pit safety.
- • The fire pit should be at least 10 feet away from any structure or combustible surface.
- • Unless the owner’s manual says it is okay, do not put a fire pit on grass, a wood deck or in an enclosed deck or porch.
- • Make sure the fire pit is placed in a well-ventilated area.
- • Be sure to always burn dry, seasoned wood that was cut at least six (6) months earlier.
- • To prevent sparks, use logs no longer than three-quarters of the pit’s diameter.
- • Do NOT use gasoline, lighter fluid or kerosene to start your fire – they are not meant for fire pits.
- • To light the fire, use a fire starter, newspaper or kindling.
- • Do NOT light a fire in windy conditions.
- • Stay up-to-date with burn bans or burn ordinances in your area.
- • Pick up any leaves or combustible material from around the pit before starting your fire.
- • Keep a bucket of sand, a fire extinguisher or a garden hose nearby in case things get out of control.