Barbecuing is a source of fun for some, relaxation for others and a way to grill up some fantastic food for the enthusiasts out there. However, due to the fun and enjoyment that a barbecue can provide, people often seem to misplace their common sense and disregard basic safety. It’s all too common for people to just grab the BBQ and jump in head first and that’s why we’re writing this – to give everyone a little heads up on how to stay safe.
Image courtesy of www.primermagazine.com
I am aware that recently we have covered more than one article that has been safety related, and you may think that we are boring, old-farts who just want to rain on your parade, but I promise you we’re not (some of us aren’t even 30 yet!). All we want to do is throw a bit of knowledge out there to make your barbecues safe as well as enjoyable – it won’t impact the amount of fun you have in the slightest.
This is aimed at people who grill on charcoal barbecues; ‘old schoolers’ if you will. If you have a gas powered barbecue, not to worry, we’ve addressed all the safety points in the first part of another article which you can read here.
How to stay safe when barbecuing with charcoal:
- Don’t overload on charcoal. A mistake many people make is how much charcoal to use; often people either overfill (or sometimes even under fill) the barbecue because they aren’t sure how much is enough. The general rule of thumb is to cover the entire base to about 5cm in height (that’s 2 inches for you people who aren’t great at converting metric to imperial).
- Make sure to use proper starter fuel or fire lighters. There are many knock off products out there and when it comes to something of this severity, you don’t want to mess around with items that might not work properly. Make sure your fire lighters & fuel are purchased from reputable sources – even if it costs a bit more, it’s not worth the chance.
- Never, ever use petrol. Some people believe that petrol is the answer to everything when it comes to barbecuing. If the BBQ isn’t lighting properly or the flames are dying down, some people automatically reach for the petrol can – DON’T. If it doesn’t explode in your face, you might be lucky enough to just end up with some severe burns. You should never use petrol; in fact, it should never even be close to a barbecue. I can’t stress this enough… Petrol and barbecues don’t mix.
- Don’t dip ashes into a plastic bin when they’re still warm. Let the ashes cool down first or you could risk a fire; you’d be surprised how easily bins can go up in flames. Unless you’re sticking them in a metal bin, wait until they’re cold, and then dump them.
There’s no doubt that some of these tips are obvious to most and that’s a good thing, the more you knew before reading this the better. But as with everything, there’s a learning curve, and people who are just starting out on the BBQ ladder might not know any of this. Therefore, even if we only manage to educate a couple of people on basic safety, we’ll be more than happy with that.
So, if you’ve learnt something new, tell your friends about it. And if you think some of your mates are a bit of a novice when it comes to barbecuing, send this their way and who knows, you might just save a life by passing on a link…