For BBQ enthusiasts, summer is the best time of the year. You get to roll out your grill in your backyard, invite friends and family, and have a roaring party (following social distance protocols, of course). The easy, laid-back camaraderie along with flavorful grilled or smoked foods make for a memorable combination. To ensure a stress-free party, however, you should implement a few important safety practices.
Below, we outline some BBQ safety tips to use for a safe and successful backyard party, including grill safety, personal safety, and the right home insurance plan.
Grill & BBQ propane tank safety
Cooking can always involve fire hazards and grilling is no different. In fact, according to Canadian underwriter magazine, all this working from home has led to an increase in fires. It’s vital to start off with a reliable grill with a well-known safety record. A little research into the safety features of different grills and expert user reviews can give you enough insight to buy the right grill. Make sure to follow the included instructions to set things up properly.
Here are a few bbq safety tips you can do to ensure you use a grill safely:
Summer BBQ safety setup
- Grilling for a backyard party is meant to be an outdoor activity. So, large grills, whether fueled by charcoal or propane, whether it’s broil king or weber, they’re meant strictly for outdoor use. Therefore, choose the right place to set your grill up at the very outset. A distance of 10 feet or more away from your main house structure is a must and even further out is better. While there are no set rules, we recommend that you keep your grill at least 3 feet away from patios, garages, and sheds and ensure that there are no overhangs or trees directly above or near the grill. If you’ve put up decorations for your backyard party, make sure they’re a safe distance away from the grill.
- When you find the right position for your grill, set it up carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to choose a flat surface where the grill can remain perfectly stable with no chance of tipping over. Using a splatter mat or a grill pad can also be a smart idea as this helps ensure any spills or grease are not permanently stained on your flooring.
BBQ propane tank safety
- Regularly checking for gas leaks is one of the most important safety steps you can take to ensure a happy, safe BBQ experience at your backyard party. If you are using your grill after a long gap, make sure there is no smell of gas near it and the no difficulty lighting your flame. These are major red flags that need to be investigated immediately before using the grill. A solution of soap and water, applied to the connections and hoses, would cause bubbles to form if there is a leak.
- The best way to prevent potential hazards is to also follow the operational instructions while using your grill. Grill manufacturers typically include detailed documentation on how to keep your grills maintained and operating safely. A properly maintained grill is less likely to give you cause for concern. Keep your grill thoroughly cleaned to avoid grease or fat buildups because these can cause uncontrolled grill fires. Never try to light your grill with the lid closed. Doing so can create an explosive ignition due to an overabundance of gas in the grill box.
Apart from keeping your grill properly maintained and performing at optimum levels, there are other important precautions you can take which allow you to deal with fire hazards should they arise. Minimizing the risk of injury and fire damage should be priority and preparation is key if a fire breaks out.
Having a fire extinguisher close at hand and knowing how to operate it properly is a must.
Apart from the usual BBQ hacks of using baking soda or a bucket of sand to put out grease fires, having a fire extinguisher keeps you prepared for larger, more serious fire hazards.
Make sure you buy the right kind of extinguisher and read the instructions carefully so that it can be put to use immediately if needed. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire as it can exponentially increase your risk. The water is lighter than oil and will sink to the pan bottom, instantly evaporating. The instant evaporation will splash the burning oil out of the pan, making matters even more dangerous.
It’s critical to set clear ground rules for children if you want to avoid accidents and burns. Teach your children not to touch or go near grills. You can mark out a boundary zone and use physical barriers to prevent children from getting too close to your grill. The right clothing can also help improve safety. Wear light cotton clothing as it is less flammable as synthetic clothing fibers. Also be mindful of loose hanging clothing such as shirt sleeves and apron strings, making sure they do not come in direct contact with open flames or hot surfaces.
The right home insurance
Last but not least, it’s important to understand that hosting a BBQ backyard party would always involve some degree of risk. The right home insurance can be your final line of defense. This can keep you financially covered and protect your liabilities in the event of an accident during a backyard party.
A lot of insurance companies provide comprehensive coverage that can protect you during a backyard party. Several factors can come into play, including the safety measures you have on hand, whether you serve alcohol at the party, and whether you have a pool in your backyard that is getting used during the party.
If someone injures themselves on your property, they can sue you for negligence and you’d rely on the liability portion of your house insurance. Most policies include $1 million in liability, and protection for your home and detached structures like your shed or gazebo. It might be worth a call to your provider to seek clarification and understanding their rules for your coverage.
The Bottom Line
Following the above safety tips and communicating with your insurance provider can give you peace of mind to have a great time without worries. Knowing that your guests and family are safe can ease your mind allowing you to enjoy the party and create those great memories.
Michael Haas – Co-Founder of Angrybbq.com