Safe Summer Barbecues: Dos and Don’ts That Will Keep You From Becoming a Statistic

Now it is the perfect season for grilling tasty meals outside. However, we would like to share some tips with you on how to do this safely, as we have noticed that this can be a potential fire hazard which leads to property damage.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.


The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and away from hanging leaves and branches.

Children and pets should be kept at least three feet away from the grill area.

Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat build-up from the grill and the tray below.

Never leave your grill unattended.

Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

Storage – At the end of the season thoroughly clean your BBQ, do not leave the cylinder connected when not in use, and store it in a dry environment, otherwise it could be prone to dampness leading to mold.

Do not overload your grill with food. This applies especially fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.

Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up, you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won’t harm your food, so dinner won’t be ruined!

Grilling sheets are safe. Most grill mats will contain PTFE, which is the same compound that is used to give non-stick cooking pans and Teflon their smooth and slippery surfaces. This compound has been approved for use by the FDA and is generally considered to be non-toxic.

Leave a door open if using an electric grill indoors.

Aluminium foil doesn’t catch on fire in an oven, on the grill or even in a campfire. It can burn, however so watch out for this and there has been some health reports that cooking with aluminium isn’t great for your wellbeing. Apparently, it should be used for packaging but not actual cooking.



There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as fuel. If you use starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any flammable liquids to the fire. Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before dispensing in a metal container.


Keep a clean grill to prevent flare ups and smoke. Using a grill brush and turning on the grill on high for 15 mins will get rid of a lot of the dirt. Always use or store cylinders in an upright, vertical position. Be sure to store them outdoors away from sources of ignition. Do not smoke while handling the propane cylinder.


Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.

If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it.



You may be wondering if its safer to be grilling with charcoal or electric? Electric grills are the healthiest way to cook outdoors. They don’t produce carcinogens and they don’t use unsustainable gas fuels that are bad for the environment. If health is your primary concern, an electric grill may be your best option compared to charcoal or gas.

Electric grills can be a safety hazard if they get too hot or left on by accident. They require a lot of electricity for the electrical heat source which sometimes isn’t cost effective if used daily.

Finally on a good note, there are the health-related reasons why grilling is better than frying: Foods absorb a lot of fat when fried – This is true even with low-fat foods… Grilled foods contain less fat – When food is grilled, the fats get extracted out of the meat. They simply get burned in the grilling pit. So if you are safe and follow these safety tips, there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy grilling this August!

Most importantly… ZGreen Restoration is a certified fire, water and mold restoration business. It is an IICRC-certified firm, which means we adhere to a higher standard than other companies. Please follow our guidelines above but if for you do have an emergency, you can trust in our fire restoration experts to get your house back in order.

Call us 24/7 on 408-212-6034 we are ready and available to help ASAP!



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