What to do if your BBQ catches fire

Barbecue en feu
It’s a perfect night to fire up the barbecue. The steaks are grilling by the red peppers when suddenly, all hell breaks loose... The neighbour’s barbecue is in flames! What if this happened in your yard? Here are a few tips to help you avoid a disaster, and having to file an insurance claim.

First things first...put out the fire!

If you can reach the burner knobs safely, try turning them off. You can also close the cover to cut off the oxygen supply. But you might get burned using these approaches. Don’t take any chances. Keep a fire extinguisher handy!

The surest way

Step away and call 9-1-1 and wait for the cavalry to arrive.

Worried about an explosion?

For your propane tank to explode, it must be exposed to very high heat. There would also have to be significant pressure buildup on the inside of the container. It takes much longer than you might think for that to happen.

How to light a propane BBQ

To start up your barbecue...

  • First, open the cover, then turn on the gas and one of the control buttons.
  • Lastly, press the start button (never more than twice)
  • Done grilling? Turn off the propane, then the control buttons once the flames are extinguished.

Have a wood or charcoal BBQ?

Keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher at hand. Even if you’re able to put out the fire, call for firemen.

Be careful with the ashes. Place them in a metal container and wait at least 48 hours before disposing of them. The ashes could spark another fire even after several hours.

Safety first

Fat that accumulates in the pit of your barbecue can overheat and catch fire. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using it. Read the sections on safety and maintenance carefully.

In fact, let’s go over a few prevention tips right now. You can never be too careful!

  • Always use your barbecue outside, where there is good air flow, and never indoors, or under a roof, tree or awning.
  • Place the barbecue at least one metre (three feet) away from your home’s structure or walls.
  • Always make sure the propane tank is properly attached to your barbecue. Over time, the rubber hose dries up and cracks. Damaged or used connections or punctured hoses can cause a leak. All you need is soap and water and two minutes of your time to make sure the connection is sealed properly.

Here’s how

Turn on the propane tank and spray the supply line with soapy water. You will notice bubbles forming if there’s a leak. Repair or change the defective parts.

So if your meal starts to go up in flames right before your eyes, no need to panic...you know exactly what to do! Bon appétit!