Barbecue Safety at Tandem Properties

With the Davis temperatures forecast to hit 80 this week – WOWZA! – some of you living in Tandem apartments in Davis might be tempted to head outdoors and channel your inner cave(wo)man by burning meat with fire. We’re the first to admit that nothing kicks our salivary glands into overdrive like the smell of an evening barbecue, but we also want you to be safe.

We didn’t even know that there was such a thing as the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, but we’re willing to bet they’re all over grilling safety. Their safety tips for keeping your eyebrows intact include:

  • Read the owner’s manual.
    Always read the owner’s manual before using your grill and follow specific usage, assembly, and safety procedures. Contact the grill manufacturer if you have specific questions. (Be sure to locate your model number and the manufacturer’s consumer inquiry phone number and write them on the front page of your manual.)
  • Grills are for outside, only.
    Barbecue grills are designed for outdoor use, only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area because carbon monoxide may accumulate and kill you.
  • Use in well-ventilated area.
    Set up your grill in an open area that is away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves, or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbecue in a well-ventilated area. Be aware of wind-blown sparks.
  • Keep grill stable.
    When using a barbecue grill, be sure that all parts of the unit are firmly in place and that the grill is stable (can’t be tipped over).
  • Follow electric codes.
    If electrically-operated accessories are used (rotisseries, etc.), be sure they are properly grounded in accordance with local codes. Electrical cords should be placed away from walkways or anywhere people can trip over them.
  • Use long-handled utensils.
    Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters. (Easy to buy at Ace or Target.)
  • Wear safe clothing.
    Wear clothing that does not have hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.
  • Keep fire under control.
    To put out flare-ups, either raise the grid that the food is on, spread the coals out evenly, or adjust the controls to lower the temperature. If you must douse the flames with a light spritz of water, first remove the food from the grill.
  • Be ready to extinguish flames.
    Use baking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy. A bucket of sand or a garden hose should be near if you don’t have a commercial extinguisher.
  • Consider placing a grill pad or splatter mat beneath your grill.
    These naturally heat resistant pads are usually made of lightweight composite cement or plastic and will protect your deck or patio from any grease that misses the drip pan.
  • Never leave a grill unattended once lit. (Our neighbor nearly burned herself out of hearth and home when she “thought” her barbecue was dead and left her house. We had to jump two fences to get into her yard and put it out)
  • Stay away from hot grill.
    Don’t allow anyone to conduct activity near the grill when in use or immediately following its use. The grill body remains hot up to an hour after being used.
  • Don’t move a hot grill.
    Never attempt to move a hot grill. It’s easy to stumble or drop it and serious burns could result.

These are great tips. We would also add: do not over-imbibe while grilling, drunk grillers are singed grillers; and clean the grill first with a big wire scrubbing tool and let the fire burn, baby, burn off any residual nastiness before you put your food on it. If you’re using a public grill, Lordy only knows what the last person used it for.

We’ll bring the Sangria and marshmallows!


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