The following Summer Safety Precautions are courtesy of the Maplewood Fire Department, led by Chief Michael Dingelstedt:
Of the many pleasures associated with the spring and summer seasons, one of the most popular is the outdoor barbecue. They are fun to use and they provide delicious tasting food. However, they can be dangerous if not handled properly. Unfortunately, numerous fires and injuries occur every year due to the use of barbecue grills. Most importantly, the majority of these fires and injuries are preventable. Therefore, the following information can contribute to making your barbecuing experiences pleasurable and safe.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Fired Barbecue Grills
The LPG cylinder should always be transported in an upright position and on the floor of a vehicle with all windows open. Remove the cylinder from the vehicle as soon as possible and never transport or store a LPG cylinder in the trunk of a vehicle.
Never leave a LPG cylinder in a parked vehicle.
Store LPG cylinders, including those attached to barbecues, outdoors and in a shaded cool area out of direct sunlight. Never store a LPG cylinder inside a home.
Fittings on LPG cylinders may have left-handed threads, which require movement in a counterclockwise direction to tighten. Therefore, care must be exercised when removing and re-attaching the flexible supply hose.
A soapy solution applied to connections can be used to detect leaks, as they will produce bubbles.
When the barbecue is not being used, the valve on the LPG cylinder should be kept in the off position.
Avoid grease dripping on the flexible supply hose as well as on the cylinder.
Charcoal Barbecue Grills
Use only starter fluid designed for charcoal barbecue grills. Once a fire has been started, never add fluid. Never use gasoline.
Use extreme caution in disposing ashes. Wet ashes thoroughly with water before emptying the barbecue.
Store charcoals in properly sealed containers.
All Barbecue grills – LPG, Charcoal as well as Natural fired:
Read the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you understand them.
Keep barbecue grills away from anything that can burn such as your house, car, dry vegetation, etc.
Do not leave barbecue grills unattended and keep children as well as pets away.
Barbecue grills should only be used outdoors and not on porches, balconies, under overhangs or in garages.
When lighting a barbecue grill the cover should be in the open position.
Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing while barbecuing.
Make sure everyone knows how to Stop, Drop and Roll in the event clothing should catch fire.
Other simple precautions that can keep you and your family safe from injuries that commonly occur during the spring and summer seasons are as follows:
- When using lawnmowers, wait for the engine to cool before refueling. Never refuel while the engine is running.
- Store gasoline outside the home, in approved safety cans, out of the reach of children and away from open flames.
- Use caution when using a garden hose that has been exposed to the sun. Standing water can become extremely hot and cause serious burns. Let water run and pre-test the temperature.
- Set time limits for sunbathing. Use sunscreen and do not wait for skin to turn red before applying protective lotion.
- When the interior of a vehicle is hot, check the metal parts of seat belts as well as plastic or leather seats before placing children in them.
Maplewood Fire Department, 105 Dunnell Road, Maplewood NJ 07040 – (973)-762-6500.
Grilling Safety N.F.P.A.