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Barbeques and Fire Safety

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As with any gas burning cooking appliance proper steps have to be taken before, during, and after the use of a barbeque.  The most important detail that needs to be followed is taking the time to read the manufacturer’s instructions on safe operation of your barbeque.  The manufacturer’s instructions will detail how to perform required maintenance; tips for safe seasonal storage, answers to frequently asked questions and should provide the contact information for proper replacement parts etc.  We offer the following general safety tips.

Cleaning and Safety Check

  • Check all hoses and fittings for obstructions.  When all hoses are connected to the gas source pressurize the system with burner controls in the off position and apply a 50/50 soap and water solution with a small brush.  Watch for bubbles showing the location of gas leaks.  If you find a leak, have it properly repaired before use.
  • Keep all components of your barbeque clean from grease and debris.  A buildup of grease can add fuel to a cooking flare up.  Regularly wash all parts of the barbeque with a proper soap and water solution.  This may require you to periodically disassemble hard to reach parts.
  • Inspect your propane cylinder for dents, scratches, rusting or general damage.  Replace your cylinder if required.

Setting up

  • Cooking should take place in an area away from structures, trees, or anything that may be combustible.  Heat rises, don’t forget to look up.
  • Run a quick preplan so that you know what to do if you have a fire on your grill.  Preplanning will ensure that in the event of a fire, panicked decisions don’t make a situation worse than it is.
  • Have an operational fire extinguisher available but a safe distance from your barbeque.  Know the type of extinguisher that you have, and how to properly use it.  Review our fire extinguisher section.
  • Place barbeque on a flat sturdy surface which is preferably non-combustible.
  • Never have your barbeque in a partially enclosed area like a garage or porch.  A barbeque fire can quickly become a structure fire from poor decision making.
  • Be aware of wind direction and locations of open windows and vents.  Barbeques produce fumes and gases which include carbon monoxide.

Safe Operation

  • Have a 1m child free zone (including pets)
  • Never leave your barbeque unattended and have one person designated as the operator.  Should that person need to leave, have an alternate designated operator to fill in.
  • Excessive alcohol and cooking are never a safe mix
  • Every barbeque will have safe starting instructions either labeled on the barbeque itself or in the manufacturer’s instructions, follow them.
  • Have the barbeque lid open and burner controls closed prior to turning on the gas valve.
  • Following your safety checks and proper set-up as outlined in the above sections, open the cylinder valve and pressurize the lines.
  • If using an automatic ignition, check igniters to make sure that they work prior to opening burner control knobs.  Open control knob and activate the igniters according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  The instructions may indicate a specific control knob to use for lighting.
  • If your barbeque does not have an automatic ignition, place lit match or lighter in the match hole then open burner control valves.  If barbeque fails to ignite, close burner control knobs, close cylinder valve, leave the lid open and wait 5 minutes for the vapors to dissipate from the area.
  • Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing around the barbeque.
  • Don’t hesitate to wear proper cooking mitts for added protection, this includes during the lighting process.

Long hair should be tied back or wear a hat to protect your hair in case of a flare up.

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