Safety Tips: Barbeque

The temperate climate in South Florida lets us enjoy summer weather year-round. We therefore enjoy a lot of outdoor cooking in the "Sunshine State."

There are many common hazards to consider when using a barbeque grill. Here are some precautions to help keep your grilling safe.

Never leave a burning barbeque grill unattended. By keeping a vigilant watch on the grill, you can avoid most dangerous situations.

  • Tips for All Types of Grills

    • Never grill indoors or in an enclosed area. An average of 20 deaths per year occur as a result of indoor grilling. 
    • Make sure you choose a level, stable surface, away from high-traffic areas and away from children and pets.
    • Always grill in a well-lit, well-ventilated area, at least 10 ft. away from combustible construction, including siding material and the eaves. 
    • Avoid grilling in covered porches or patios especially if the covering is wood, canvas or other flammable material. Hot air and flames rise, so nothing combustible should be located directly above the grill.
    • Keep a Class B or Class ABC fire extinguisher on hand in the event of a fire.
  • Tips for Gas Grills

    • Periodically inspect your grill. Check hoses for cracks, holes, and leaks. Check burners for obstructions and make sure the igniter is working.
    • If your igniter does not successfully light your grill on the first attempt, turn the control knob to off and wait for the gas to clear before trying again.
    • Always keep propane gas containers upright and do not store spare gas containers under or near the grill.
    • As of April 2002, an overfill prevention device was implemented on all new propane gas containers. These new containers have valve handles with three prongs (old tanks have five prongs). If you have the old container type, it should be traded in for the new safer type. Besides, many propane gas vendors will no longer fill the old type of container.
    • Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.
  • Tips for Charcoal Grills

    • Charcoal grills produce carbon monoxide (CO), which is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to fatally toxic levels in enclosed areas.
    • Always use charcoal grills in extremely well-vented areas and never use a charcoal or hibachi-type grill inside a house, tent or vehicle, even if ventilation is provided.
    • Freshly used coals will continue to produce CO after the fire is extinguished, so leave the coals and grill outside until the coals are cool to the touch before bringing inside for storage.