While barbequing is a favourite summer past-time for many Canadians, along with it comes an increased risk of fire to your home and surrounding property. Follow these BBQ safety tips to prevent fire and smoke damage the next time you light up the grill.

Practice Good Grilling Habits

No matter what kind of barbeque you use, here are a few simple guidelines to help reduce your risk of fire or injury.

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors. Never use your grill inside, in a tent or under an outdoor awning or carport. Doing so can pose a serious fire hazard and potentially cause carbon monoxide poisoning if you're using a gas grill.
  • The grill should be placed well away from major structures including your house, shed or garage and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Never leave your grill unattended and let it fully cool before you cover or store it.
  • Keep your barbeque clean by removing grease build-up on the grills and the trays below.

Proper Charcoal Grill Safety

Many people prefer the taste of food cooked on a classic charcoal barbeque, but this method poses unique fire risks of its own.

  • Use enough charcoal to only cover the bottom of the grill. Don't pile too much inside since it could cause ashes and sparks to become airborne, possibly catching nearby objects or even your home on fire.
  • Only use starter fluid specifically designed for charcoal. Never add extra charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Empty your used ashes in a metal container only after they have completely cooled. Never store or dispose of them in a garbage can or leave them on a deck.

Use your Gas Grill Wisely

Gas barbeques are convenient and easy to use but they are also susceptible to fire risks.

  • Open the lid before lighting it. This allows oxygen to escape and reduces the risk of fire or even explosion.
  • Check your grill's gas line and tank fittings regularly for leaks. You can do this by brushing soapy water around these areas. If you see bubbles emerge, there could be a leak somewhere that needs repairing.
  • If you have spare gas cylinders, never store them under a stairway or the eaves of your home. Place them upright and outside, away from any structures to minimize fire risks.
  • Turn off your grill using the controls first, then close off the gas line at the tank. This helps to ensure any excess gas can escape safely.

If you happen to experience fire or smoke damage during BBQ season, the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore are always available to help. We hope you never need to make that call but if you do, we're available 24/7/365 to assist you.