Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kitchen Tip: Outdoor Grilling Safety

It has been such a hot, humid summer not only here in the deep south, but it seems, many other parts of the country as well. And because of this, everyone is doing everything possible to avoid heating up the kitchen. We've been utilizing many different strategies to this end as have many other families.

I've been trying for a few weeks to figure out how to tell this story while maintaining privacy for us and our friends. I think I'm just going to tell it and not worry about the rest. This is too important to leave untold. A few weeks ago, some friends decided to avoid heating up the house and fired up their charcoal grill (our grill of choice as well) around 3:00 pm. They grilled their dinner and then checked on the grill around 9:30 or 10:00 p. m. They felt that the fire was out and had cooled enough so they went to bed. Apparently, during the night, an animal knocked the grill over and things were still hot enough to set their wooden deck on fire (12 hours after the grill was first fired up). Since the deck was attached to their home the fire quickly spread to their home and consumed much of it and most of their belongings. Of course, things can be replaced. Thank God the smoke caused the mom to wake up and the family and their pets got out before anyone was harmed.

I have a few tips regarding home safety and grilling (and I am certain I am leaving out some very important things, so please add your tips in the comments). First, grill on a cement deck, not a wood deck. If you don't have a cement deck, then grill on your cement driveway. Second, avoid grilling near your home and please stay away from overhangs or patio roof areas. Third, please make sure your coals have cooled completely by wetting them before you go to bed. Fourth, make sure there are no accellerants such as lighter fluid or flammable items (wood, paper, leaves, charcoal bags) near your grill, even if you are sure it is no longer hot. Fifth, make sure you have several fire extinguishers in your home. Sixth, make sure you have home owner's or renter's insurance that will cover fire damage.

Okay, as I mentioned in the last paragraph, I am sure I have missed several important safety tips, so please add your thoughts in the comments section.

Tammy's Recipe hosts Kitchen Tip Tuesday. Go check it out.


Anonymous said...

How horrible for your friends. Let me be honest, I break all of the rules you laid out. About the only thing I've got going for me is we grill on the brick pavers patio we have out back.

Scary stuff.

Sharinskishe said...

I think you covered things pretty well. We have a gas grill and we have ours on concrete. (However it has been tossed in the wind so much that we have to rebuild it before we can use it. When will we do this? Not sure, but someday.)

Because the gas grill is out-of-commission, I am doing Dutch oven cooking. I do have a cement firepit for it, however it is very important that I make sure all the coals are out before we head inside for the night.

Thanks for the reminder of a big (BIG) summertime problem.

Hope your friends are doing OK.



Jessica said...

Good feature! Check out this one for Outdoor Firepit .