BBQ Safety

Family barbecue party outside in the backyard.

The smell of BBQ in the air is a sure sign of summer in Central New Jersey. Enjoying tasty food with friends and family in the warm sun is a great way to kick off the season. BBQ’s are fun, but grills are a fire hazard. Before you start up your grill for the first time this year, brush up on your grill safety knowledge.

Charcoal Grills

There are many accessories that help you start and keep a charcoal grill going. They’re helpful but can create an additional fire risk.

  • Never put lighter fluid on coals that are already burning. Only use lighter fluid over cold coals.
  • After you use lighter fluid, secure its lid and store away from your hot grill.
  • Use caution when handling hot starters and any other grill accessory.
  • Allow ashes to cool before moving them from your grill. Once cooled, dispose of them in a non-flammable container away from your home.

Gas Grill Maintenance

Every year give your gas grill a little extra attention.

  • Wipe down the outside of your grill.
  • Soak grates, burners and shields in soapy water.
  • Remove stubborn grease by turning your grill on high and closing the lid for 10-20 minutes.
  • Replace your gas tank if needed.
  • Reconnect your gas tank securely to your gas lines.
  • Change your grease pan.

Gas Leaks

Check for gas leaks on a regular basis.

  • Start by looking for dents, rust and punctures on your gas tank and line. These signs may mean that you have a gas leak.
  • Mix together equal parts of water and dish soap.
  • Brush this soapy solution onto your gas line and valve.
  • Turn on the gas and watch.
  • You have a gas leak if bubbles form.
  • Disconnect the gas tank and don’t use your grill until the leak is repaired.

Grease Fires

Grease buildup is common on most grills. Prepare for a grease fire in the following ways.

  • Never use water to put out a grease fire. It will only make the fire worse.
  • Keep baking soda or sand nearby your grill. Throw it on your flames if they burn out of control.
  • Try turning off your burners and closing the grill lid to smother the fire.
  • You can also use fire extinguishers rated for Class B fires. These are the multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher or the dry chemical-carbon dioxide extinguisher.
  • When in doubt, evacuate the area and call 911.

Between Uses

No matter what type of grill you use, it’s important to clean it after every use.

  • Brush your grates while they’re still warm for easy cleanup.
  • Wipe down the outside of your grill.
  • Close the lid of your grill.

Grill Outside

The spot you choose to BBQ is just as important as maintaining your grill.

  • Always BBQ outside. Grills give off carbon monoxide and even small grills are unsafe for indoor use.
  • Set up your grill 10 feet from your home or any other structure.
  • Make sure your BBQ spot is free from overhanging plants and decorations.
  • Also, try to choose a surface like concrete that is non-flammable and flat.

ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration Services is your local fire and water damage restoration expert in Central New Jersey. If you experience a BBQ fire, contact us at (800) 377-7166.

We’re available 24/7 for emergency damage restoration services. Our team also provides extreme cleaning, floor care and more. The sooner you call us, the more damage we can prevent.


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