A few safety tips for BBQ season

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Every year Canadians spend quality time with family and friends, enjoying BBQ cooking, but few take the time to inspect and follow simple rules to prevent disaster.

Propane gas BBQ’s:

Propane gas BBQ’s are the most commonly used by Canadians. A few safety tips can help you and your family enjoy a safe BBQ season.

  • Inspect BBQ hoses and fixtures for wear and tear.
  • 1 part dish soap to 2 parts water can be used on hoses and couplings to detect leaks by observing for the presence of soap bubbles.
  • Inspect vents for insect nests or spider webs that could restrict air entry.
  • Ensure your BBQ is a safe distance from siding, decking and overhead obstructions.
  • Keep BBQs away from paths of travel and play areas.
  • Let children know that the BBQ cooking area is a “Kid-Free zone” until the unit has cooled down.
  • Use long-handled BBQ utensils to keep a safe distance from heat and flames.

All propane cylinders manufactured after April 2002 must have overfill protection devices (OPD). OPDs shut off the flow of propane before capacity is reached, limiting the potential for a release of propane gas if the cylinder heats up. OPD are easily identified by their triangular-shaped hand wheel.

For Charcoal users:

  • A sturdy and non-combustible BBQ base should be used.
  • Use only approved BBQ starter fluids or briquettes.
  • Keep children safely away from the grill, especially on light up.
  • Use long-handled utensils to protect against flames and heat.

Coals must be soaked with water when cooking is completed to speed up the cooling process, but use extreme caution to avoid the steam and any splatters, which may cause burns.

**Always remember to close all lighter fluid containers properly and store well away from the reach of children and heat sources. BBQ’s must be cool before covering or being stored away.

On a final note: Propane and Charcoal BBQ’s must only be used outdoors and away from flammable surfaces. There may be a risk of fire or asphyxiation if they are used indoors or in enclosed spaces, such as tents.

From the office of the Canadian Forces Fire Marshal, we wish you a happy and safe BBQ season.

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