Planning An Outdoor Barbecue This Spring? Stay Safe With These 4 Tips

Posted on: 2 March 2016

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Now that the winter chill has faded and spring is here, you may be looking for reasons to spend more time outdoors, and an outdoor barbecue is a great reason to spend an afternoon or evening outdoors with your family. However, you want to make sure that you don't end up becoming an injury statistic. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 18,000 people suffered outdoor cooking injuries severe enough to send them to the emergency room. Take a look at how you can stay safe with these tips.

Keep It Clean

Ideally, you should clean your grill thoroughly after every use. But if you've been storing it all winter, go over it and make sure that it's clean before firing it up for the first time this spring, even if you know that you cleaned it after the last use. While in storage, dust can accumulate on your grill, and you don't want any of it in your food. Besides, any grease or fat that you may have missed the last time could cause an unexpected flare-up.

Check For Leaks

If you have a gas or propane grill, you need to be sure to check it for leaks before firing it up. The possibility of a gas leak is one of the biggest possible hazards that you face when grilling, and it's easy to check and make sure that you don't have a leak. Just mix up some dish soap and water and apply it to the hoses and joints. Then open the grill lid and turn the gas on. If you see large soap bubbles forming, that lets you know that you have a leak in the hose or that one of the joints needs to be tightened.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy

If your dinner suddenly goes up in flames, the fire extinguisher under you kitchen sink or in the hall closet won't do you a lot of good. Bring it outside and keep it within easy reach just in case. If you've never needed to use the extinguisher before, take the time to review the instructions before you start cooking – you don't want to fumble with the extinguisher when you need to react quickly. Keep your cell phone or a cordless home phone nearby, too – that way you can call 911 immediately if you need them. Contact a company like Amerisafe for more information about fire extinguishers.

Stay By Your Grill

The last thing you want to do is leave your grill unattended, and not just because you might burn your meat. A fire can double in size every 30 seconds, and can spread 1100% in only four minutes. Going indoors for a minute or walking out to the street and leaving the grill unsupervised could be enough time for a small spark to turn into a giant inferno. Don't risk it – stay near your grill.

When you take the proper safety precautions, a springtime barbecue can be a great way to celebrate the return of warm weather. Stay safe and enjoy your backyard meal.