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Summer Barbecue Safety

Fireman Daniel Ferrari visits Home & Family with some important safety tips for summer barbecues.
Summer Barbecue Safety


1. WHAT ARE the BIGGEST SUMMER FIRE HAZARDS YOU RESPOND TO?


Backyard Bar-B-Q’s are popular and fun but also pose numerous hazards, from grease fires due to poor maintenance (not cleaned).

FACT: Each year 8,800 home fires are caused by outdoor grills


2.  WHAT KIND OF BURNS DO YOU SEE THE MOST?


DAN: Hands, fingers, bellies touch the hot part of grill, etc:
Inadequate air source, like putting your hands in an oven, it’s a stove-top, people cooking with foil, spills etc.


FACT: Fingers, hands and arms are commonly burned due to careless grilling


3. HOW ARE CHARCOAL GRILLS DIFFERENT THAN GAS GRILLS?

DAN: -Coal (natural kindling) is a fuel heat source that remains burning once the heat source is stopped so the heat danger continues.

-Gas fire stops the minute you turn off the fuel source and can be contained but there is risk of explosion because of the compressed gas.


4.  SHOULD A GRILL BE CLEANED WHEN HOT OR COOL?
DAN: Scrape it after use then let it cool and clean it properly. A lot of times the grills are not well cleaned and the build up of grease creates lots of problems.  Carcinogens and pathogens build up in the accumulated grease and transfer to the food we eat. 
- Another problem is wire brush cleaners. The bristles come loose and get into the food and can cause severe problems – even death by puncturing the intestines. The best way to clean a grill is with Aluminum foil.


TIP: Carcinogens and pathogens collect in grease and can be ingested with our food
TIP: Metal grill bristles can stick in food causing severe or fatal intestinal problems
TIP: Grill cleaning: scrub with balled up aluminum foil; wipe with sponge and lemon
TIP: Never clean with alcohol based products
TIP: Clean the catch basin on a gas grill; ashes and grease build up


5. WHAT’S THE CORRECT WAY TO LIGHT A CHARCOAL OR WOOD FIRE?

DAN: The #1 problem using natural kindling is wanting to get the fire going quickly – accelerants, lighter fluid. People are impatient and make mistakes lighting the fire. It should be lit slowly using natural kindling. If you must use accelerant, use approved charcoal or wood lighter fluid and let it soak into the bricks at least 10 minutes before lighting. Also, best is to twist newspaper rather than ball it up and thread it in between the cracks.


6. WHAT SAFETY ITEMS SHOULD YOU HAVE ON HAND WHEN GRILLING?

DAN: Always wear protective gear; long oven mitts and a durable apron

-Create a functional work-station with room for all your tools within reach
-Use proper utensils with long handles
-Have a “Class AB” fire extinguisher within reach
-Keep a bucket of water on hand
-Avoid having aerosol cans (like some cooking sprays) near heat


DAN: Use natural kindling small wood chips, twisted newspaper work in between briquettes. Avoid accelerants like gasoline (if you use approved fluid, let it soak in for 10 minutes).


7. HOW SHOULD SOMEONE RESPOND IF A FIRE FLARES UP SUDDENLY?

DAN: First, contain the fire. If it is a gas grill, lower the lid and turn off the gas.
If it is a coal fire, you might want to throw a bucket of water on it and/or use a fire extinguisher. If something else has caught on fire, water (unless it is grease) and the fire extinguisher then call 911. 


TIP: Always wear protective gear; long oven mitts and a durable apron
TIP: Use proper utensils; long handles
TIP: Fireman Dan demos building a proper grill fire
TIP: Have a “Class AB” fire extinguisher within reach
TIP: Keep a bucket of water on hand
TIP: Grills should be a minimum of 10ft from any structure and never under a roof
TIP: Fire extinguisher operation: Pull pin and P.A.S.S. (point, aim, squeeze, sweep)
TIP: Grilling safety information; NFPA.org/safety-information/for-consumers/outdoors/grilling


8. WHAT OTHER FIRE HAZARDS SHOULD WE BE AWARE OF OVER THE SUMMER?
Fireworks cause more than 10,000 burns each year over the 4th of July holiday. 
Dan gives his information about what to use and what not to use


TIP: More than 10,000 Americans suffer burns from fireworks each year
TIP: 50% of burns from fireworks occur on 4th of July celebrations
TIP: Fireworks are best viewed in controlled events with firefighters present

Summer BBQ Safety - Home & Family

Learn top safety tips on how to operate your grill this summer season!


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