Ah! Summer! Can’t you just smell the aroma of grilled steaks? Grilling food in the backyard is one of the favourite pastimes of the summer season for family meals and for get-togethers. Even birthday parties provide the perfect opportunity to have grilled hotdogs and burgers. Charcoal grilling is by far a safer method than the use of propane, but it, too, can be very dangerous. When you use your charcoal grill it is essential that you follow basic safety tips to keep you and those around you safe from harm.
Starting a charcoal grill requires the use of starter fluid. You should always make sure you use only the recommended starter and not to use gasoline. When you light the starter, there is likely to be a high flame, which means that you should be far enough away from the flame so that you don’t get burned. Make sure that your clothing is tight so that it won’t fall or drop onto the coals. For example, long dangly sleeves are quite easy to catch on fire if they should come in contact with the hot coals.
While you are cooking flare ups can occur at any time when the grease drips off the food onto the hot coals. Just as you reach in to turn over a steak, a flame could sear the hairs on your arm or catch fire to your clothing. It is best to wear gloves when you are in charge of this task so that you can enjoy the food when it is cooked.
The set up for your grill in the backyard should be in an area that is designated for this purpose only. Any children who are around should be warned to stay well clear of this area and if they are close by they should be well-supervised by adults. Children should never be permitted near the grill to help or to watch what you are doing. Pets, too, should be kept away from this area while you are grilling and should only be permitted in the area when the coals have cooled.
The position of the charcoal grill should be that it is not within three feet of any objects. This includes shrubbery and trees, fencing and the house itself – anything that can catch fire. Burning charcoal does give off carbon monoxide, which is why this type of grill should only be used in an outdoor setting. If you have your heart set on a barbeque and it starts to rain, you could move the grill to the garage, but make sure the door remains open to allow ventilation.