BBQ User Guide
Outdoor cooking is a summertime staple. But be sure to take certain precautions to prevent your cookout from going up in smoke.
Discover our tips on how to enjoy safe barbecuing, all summer long.
Tip #1: Start the season off right
At the start of each season, make sure your BBQ is in good working order. It's important to clean and check your burners, hoses and regulator. Next, make sure your hoses and attachments are airtight by applying soapy water. If you see any bubbles, you'll need to repair the leak before you use the BBQ.
Tip #2: Avoid putting the BBQ too close to your home
Barbecuing too close to the house or other structures is one of the most common causes of BBQ fires. Make sure the BBQ is installed outside in a well-ventilated area away from where children play.
To find out how much clearance to keep around your BBQ s, see the manufacturer's manual.
Tip #3: Check the rules before grilling on a balcony
Some balconies are narrow and close to things that can catch fire. It can be risky to barbecue there.
Check with your municipality, landlord or condominium association to see if barbecuing is allowed.
Tip #4: Be sure to open the hood before lighting up the grill
To prevent gas buildup, always open the hood of the BBQ before using it. Once the hood is open, you can open the valve on the propane tank and then turn on the barbecue burners.
Tip #5: Never leave your BBQ unattended when it's on
It’s essential you stay close by when using your grill to reduce the risk of fire. You can also set a timer to remind you to flip your food.
If you have children or pets, make sure they stay well away from your BBQ when it’s on.
Tip #6: Use good tools
Long-handled utensils are recommended to reduce the risk of burns.
Be extra careful when using a wire brush to clean your BBQ. Small steel wires can come off the brush and stick to the grill. If swallowed, they can cause serious injury to the throat and digestive tract.
Here are some tips for avoiding such injuries:
- Check the brush regularly for wear
- Check the grill for metal bristles
- Change your brush often and learn about the various alternatives available on the market
- Use cooking sheets designed for grilling to reduce brush use
- If bristles come off, stop using the brush
For more information, visit Health Canada.
Tip #7: Close the valve on the propane tank before turning your BBQ off
Close the valve on the propane tank first and then, once the burners are no longer lit, turn them off. That way, you’re sure that there isn’t any gas left in the hose.
Tip #8: What to do if your BBQ catches fire
If BBQ flames spread and grow, do the following:
- If possible, turn off the burners and close the valve. Then close the hood to cut off the air and smother the flames.
- Don’t try to put out the fire with water. Use an appropriate portable fire extinguisher instead.
- Call 911 if needed.
If using a coal BBQ, be sure to dispose of the ashes safely. To do so, empty the ashes into a metal container and let them cool for at least 7 days. Check out our article on hot ashes to learn more.
Tip #9: Store your propane tank outside
No matter the season, you should store your propane tank outside, taking care to ensure that the valve is in the off position.
Most propane tanks are good for 10 years. View the Canadian Propane Association Fact Sheet on identifying a propane tank’s date of manufacture.
Once the tank has expired, it should be taken to an ecocentre or to a propane retailer. It should not be thrown in the garbage because it could explode.
Tip #10: Transport the propane tank safely
On your way to fill your tank? Be sure to keep safety in mind. Place it securely on the floor of the back seat so it won’t tip over. Check that the valve is pointing upwards and that there is proper air circulation in the vehicle.
We hope these tips will help you safely enjoy the thrill of the grill. As the season draws to a close, find out how to store your barbecue.
If you have questions about your home insurance or if you would like to update your coverage, feel free to contact us.
Did you know?
In their natural state, propane and natural gas are odourless. By law, an odour additive that smells like rotten eggs is used to make them easier to detect.