Tips on Barbecue Safety and How To Save Your Eyebrows
Posted by Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency on
Pardon the pun, but I only mentioned because it happened to me. Yep. I’ve burnt the eyebrows and the hairs off my arms all in one shot. Or flaming inferno, that is. Had to order Chinese takeout that day for no one wanted to eat the burgers. Even now they still check to see if my eyebrows are intact before they eat anything I grill. So! That is what gave me the idea to blog about barbecue safety and what you shouldn’t do. Besides not following in my flip flops, here’s the deal on barbecue safety.
So, whether you are hot and fast grilling or doing a low and sloooww barbecue, there are a few things you should know to make sure that nothing goes wrong. When you are combining an explosive fuel with hot metals and open flame, it can be a recipe for disaster. So, here are some key pointers.
Fire is one of the most destructive forces in the universe and every year grills and smokers cause thousands of fires, and hundreds of injuries. You need to know how to control your fire and have a fire extinguisher nearby. Someone should always be in charge of the fire at all times and know how to cut the fuel supply in the event it gets out of control.
Instruction manual. This is the key! Know your grill before you light up. Don’t assume that your new grill works just like your last one. Some have higher ignition flames than others. I found that one out the hard way.
Smoke. You need to be careful for smoke contains carbon monoxide, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and other dangerous substances. The PAH is formed when grease burns and it is best not to inhale it in. Enjoy the smell of your grilling from a distance.
Location of your grill. This is a huge factor to consider for hundreds of people every year cause fires to their homes, garages, patios and apartment buildings. The grill’s instruction manual (yeah, that again) will tell you the minimum distance around your unit that must be kept clear. My suggestion is to take a look at your grill and imagine the worse fire you can. What do you think will catch with it? Also, make sure your location isn’t in the way that people will have to walk by the grill’s hot surfaces. Avoid children’s play areas as well.
Gas Safety. Take the time to make sure that bugs or critters haven’t obstructed the gas flow. At the first sign of a problem, make sure you turn off your control valves, turn off the fuel tank and disconnect everything.
If you don’t have gas, you have charcoal. Well, these cause more fires than a gas grill does. The number one problem is lighting the charcoal. Lighter fluid really creates most of the havoc. This is because it turns to a heavy gas at a relatively low temperature and when it burns and evaporates, it explodes. Follow the instructions to the tee of lighting charcoal.
Grease. These are from the food itself that creates flare-ups in your grill. They can be lethal and when grease collects in your grill and builds up. That is why you need to keep your grill clean at all times.
Believe it or not, there is another thing that causes cancer. Overcooking your foods at high temperatures, particularly red meat and chicken and causing it to char, forms a cancer causing substance Heterocyclic Amines (HCA). So, to minimize the risk, use marinades, don’t overcook anything, keep grilling at temperature below 600 and use thinner or smaller cuts of meat in kebabs. (Why it isn’t spelled kabobs like it sounds is beyond me.)
Skip the alcohol when grilling. That’s a no brainer. When you are playing with fire, quite literally, you should keep a clear head. Enjoy the cold one when you are enjoying the food.
So! That is my lesson on Barbecue 101. Take the time to enjoy the rewards of summer with the sun on your back, the metal flipper in your hand, with the smell of the barbecue blowing in the air and lastly, keep your head out of the grill like me, so eyebrows stay intact.
Here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency our goal is to try to help our viewers by suggesting solutions for all insurance needs. By no means can we address each reader’s specific concerns in every incident. So, we strongly advise to check with an insurance representative to address your specific needs. However, you can also contact us for any questions or concerns and we will be happy to help you. We are able to offer a complete line of personal & commercial insurance products for all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.