BBQ 101: Tips to help you use yours safely
Is there anything better than the great Kiwi BBQ? A safe Kiwi BBQ! Barbecues can be a fire risk, so check out these tips to help you use yours safely.
The days are getting longer, which means more sunshine, and what better way to enjoy the weather than to bring out the barbie and enjoy a meal with family and friends?
A barbecue is an iconic New Zealand pastime over summer, but it's crucial to remember that safety should always come first. Here are some safety tips to help you prepare for the barbecue season and for outdoor adventures that are both enjoyable and secure.
Placement is everything
Choosing the right spot for your BBQ is your first step towards safety. Make sure you position it on a flat, stable surface away from any flammable materials, such as trees, mulch, overhanging branches, or wooden decks.
Keep a safe distance from your house and, if there are kids running around, make sure you don't set up directly in front of the back door.¹
Regular maintenance matters
Before firing up the barbecue, inspect it for any signs of wear and tear. Clean the grates and burners regularly to prevent grease buildup, which can lead to dangerous flare-ups.
Check for loose fittings and rust and inspect your LPG cylinder thoroughly for any leaks. Take a look at our LPG cylinder safety blog for an in-depth best practice guide.
Ventilation is vital
Make sure there is proper ventilation around the barbecue. Using one in an enclosed space can lead to a buildup of dangerous gases like carbon monoxide. You should always use your barbecue in an open area with lots of airflow.²
Keep a close look
Being alert and focused is crucial for safe barbecuing, and you should never leave a lit one unattended. Give someone the task of keeping an eye on it, especially when there are children or pets around. Being quick to act in an emergency can make all the difference.
Handle flare-ups wisely
Flare-ups can happen, particularly when you're cooking fatty meats. Instead of panicking, be prepared to act quickly. Move all food away from the flames and adjust the heat if you can.
Mind the grease
Grease buildup is a common cause of fires when using a barbecue. Always have a grease catcher in place and clean it regularly. Avoid pouring hot grease directly into the bin, as this can lead to spontaneous combustion. Instead, let it cool, wrap it up and dispose of it in your rubbish bin.³
Have a fire extinguisher on hand
Accidents can happen despite our best efforts. Having a working fire extinguisher nearby can be a lifesaver. Ensure it's suitable for all types of fires, including oil, grease and fires caused by flammable liquids.⁴
If you need help, call Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 111 immediately. Anything that could cause serious injury, loss of life or property is a fire emergency and should be taken seriously. If you're not sure, call anyway, and the operator will be able to guide you.
Following these barbecue safety guidelines will not only ensure a delicious meal and a happy memory, but also help safeguard your property and loved ones from potential accidents. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way!