My greatest fear in grilling…
An estimated 5,700 residential barbecue and grill fires occur in the United States each year. 3,800 people are injured in these fires. In what may be classified under the category of “Duh,” about half of these types of fire accidents happen between 5pm – 8pm (dinnertime) and in the months of May, June, July, and August (warm weather). Not many grill fires happening in December at 3am. Finally, many of these grill fires happen on patios, terraces, screened in porches, and courtyards.
The solution to improved summer grilling safety is not simply to say, “be safer.” We can (should) change our habits and put specific measures/methods into practice that will generate the improved safety we seek (hopefully).
I know I can personally improve my pre-bbq (say that quickly three times in a row) inspection habits. For example, I should visually inspect the hoses on my gas grill for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks before each grilling session. Or when I bring the grill out for the first time at the beginning of the season I should check for propane gas leaks by opening the gas valve and applying a soapy solution at the connection points. Bubbles Bad / No Bubbles Good!
Here are some internet resources that if followed will improve your grilling safety habits:
Fire it Up Safely: Information from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission
Cooking Fire Safety: Information from FEMA.
Top 10 Safety Tips for Barbecue & Grilling: Information from About.com
Please check out these resources. I know my safety habits have improved from implementing the advice provided. My actually grilling skills are still terrible: I have turned burning and overcooking chicken into an art-form! Along with my safety advice, here are links to help improve your mad cooking skills:
Grilling Tips: From Weber
Eight things no one ever teaches you about Grilling: From Esquire Magazine
I have provided tips to improve both your grilling safety skills and cooking skills. I neglected to mention my greatest fear when I grill (here’s where this blog entry title comes into play). My fear is making everyone sick after eating my food. So in conclusion, here is a link to protect you and those you cook for from food-borne illness:
Eating Outdoors, Handling Food Safety: From the FDA
Now it’s off to Costco to buy the incredible steaks I’m planning to grill tonight…
…Oh, before I forget, click here to view more details concerning the Death Star Grill featured in the picture at the top.