Summertime is here once again, and among the countless fun activities to be had during this time is a barbecue. What can be better in the summer than a cool pool, a nice drink, and a helpful dose of protein from your chosen grilled meat? But, like all other special events or occasions, you have to ensure the safety of everybody who will participate. You have to be especially careful about holding events such as a barbecue during the summertime because countless factors could go wrong, and will go wrong if you don’t practice ensuring safety. In line with that, here are a few tips on how to ensure safety when you are having a barbecue, along with some facts and the history of barbecue that you can share and make you look like a genius in front of your friends or family.
According to iii.org, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, an approximate amount of 5,700 grill fires occur on residential property every year, most of which are due to malfunctioning gas grills. These grill fires are said to cause an annual average of 37 million dollars in damage, 10 deaths, and 100 injuries. Adding to that amount of destruction, thousands of people are rushed to emergency rooms every year due to burning themselves while barbecuing.
Should a grill fire spread to your house, you will be able to receive compensation if you have homeowner’s insurance since one of the perils that it covers is a fire.
Some damages that a standard homeowners insurance covers:
- Damage to the house itself
- Damage to personal possessions
- Damage to insured structures on your property
- Injuries to a guest, under the liability portion of the policy
Even if you do have insurance, it is still better to prevent the danger from happening in the first place.
Gas grills are typically safe to use if they are designed, constructed, and maintained properly, and are regularly checked for leaks.
- Search the Consumer Product Safety Commission website. This is to make sure that there has not been a recall regarding the model of your grill.
- Check your grill hoses. Check it for any signs of cracks, holes, and brittleness that could cause a disaster.
- Check for blockages. Especially in the Venturi tube which runs to the burners. There are plenty of causes for blockage, food drippings, spiders, or insects, just to name a few. You should be able to clear any blockages with a wire or with some pipe cleaner.
- Check for leaks. This can be achieved by running a solution of one part liquid soap and one part water along with the hoses and on connections. Then open the valve at your tank and check to make sure that gas isn’t escaping. The leaking points will be indicated by bubbles that appear.
- Adjust the hoses away from hot areas or where grease may be able to drip on them.
- Cover your grill. You should cover the grill when it is not in use. This is to prevent any effects of weather, falling leaves, and insect activity.
- Store propane tanks outside. Preferably somewhere far from your house. You must always make sure that the valves are firmly turned off, lest cause something horrible happen.
Safe Barbecue Habits
- When barbecuing, take into account different variables at the same time to avoid a huge disaster from happening.
- Operate your barbecue on a level surface. Place your grill away from anywhere with a lot of flammable materials, these include your garden, house, garage, and other landscaping.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Make sure that everybody knows where it is located and that they know how to operate it. This could save lives, prevent serious injury, and prevent property damage.
- Don’t move the grill once it has been lit.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill.
- Protect yourself, or the one who is handling the grill. Use a heavy apron and oven mitts that reach high on the forearm. Also, use cooking utensils that have long handles and are designed for barbecuing.
- Only use lighter fluid that is designed for grilling when charcoal grilling. Do not use gasoline or other flammable liquids. And do not add lighter fluid once the fire has been started.
- Do not grill indoors or in enclosed areas. Charcoal grills produce carbon monoxide (CO) which can be deadly if produced within an unventilated space.
- Make sure to wait for the grill to cool before storing or covering it. Remember that the grill will still be hot after use.
- Soak charcoal briquettes with water to ensure that they are cool and inactive before you dispose of them.
What to do in case of an accident:
Even if you did take all precautions to prepare for accidents, there are still instances in which they will occur. A good answer to these would be to make sure to have homeowners insurance. Check with your agent if you’re covered in case someone else gets hurt on your property. Here are some other steps to prevent the worst-case scenario.
- In case of a fire breaking out, use a fire extinguisher to keep the destruction to a minimum. If the fire does spread and it couldn’t be controlled with the fire extinguisher, it is best to call 911 and report the situation.
- Address any injuries immediately. Run some cool water over minor burns to ease the pain, but do not cover injured areas with bandages, or salve. In the case of more serious burns, take the victim to an emergency room or any nearby hospital. In any major accident, do not hesitate to call 911.
- Assess your property damage. Once all injuries have been dealt with and when the smoke has cleared, you should assess how much destruction has occurred on your property.
To summarize everything that has been stated so far, always be careful when hosting or attending a barbecue. Make sure that all equipment is safe. And do not hesitate to call 911 when things go awry.
Barbecue Fun Facts
During the summertime, countless barbecues are held all around the country. But how much do people know about this mouth-watering pastime? Here is a list of varied fun facts that give you all the information you need to be a certified barbecue expert.
- Barbecues originated from events called pig-pickings. These were feasts that were common in the Southern United States before the Civil War. During these feasts, whole pigs were cooked and eaten by the crowd.
- Barbecue was used as far as 6,000 years ago to make meat safe and easy to store. The meat was exposed to smoke and low meat to prevent bacteria and enzymes from growing.
- In Australia, barbecues are often referred to as a “barbie.” The famous saying, “I’ll slip an extra shrimp in the barbie for you.” which has appeared on Australian tourism advertisements is often used as a callback to Australia.
- What most North Americans partake in today isn’t barbecuing. Barbecuing is cooking at temperatures near the boiling point of water which is 100°C or 212°F for a long time to make the meat tender while simultaneously preserving its natural juices. The method being used in modern “barbecues” is broiling, where food is being cooked somewhere between 475-700° F or 246-371° C.
- According to the Barbecue Industry Association, 50% of all marshmallows in the U.S. have been toasted over a grill.
- An easy way of checking how much propane is left in your tank is by weighing it on a scale, preferably outside to avoid any destruction should something go wrong.
- The word barbecue has an unclear origin. Some people believe that it came from the American-Indian word barbacoa after a wood on which food was cooked. Others believe that it came from the French words de Barbe queue which means whiskers to tails.
- If you want to add some more of that smokey flavor to your gas-grill-cooked foods or foods cooked inside the house, use liquid smoke. Since this is a condensation of actual smoke, this product can be easily mixed in with your marinade or sauce.
- Brisket, the extremely tough cut of meat that is taken from a cow’s chest takes one to two hours per pound to barbecue. An 8-pound piece would amount to an average of 12 hours.
- Kansas City, Missouri, Texas, and Lexington, North Carolina, have all claimed to be the barbecue capitals of the world. Meanwhile, Memphis stakes a claim to being the pork barbecue capital.
To summarize, barbecue and barbecuing have a long and fascinating history associated with them, and it only grows more with each passing day.
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