We all love a good BBQ, especially during the warm days of summer. There’s nothing quite like cooking outside on a grill, cool drink in hand, family and friends around you. However, if not treated with respect, gas BBQs can be dangerous. With a little common sense and the following of a few simple rules, you can have a fun and safe BBQ any time you wish.
Read the manual
Every BBQ is different so always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using a BBQ for the first time. If you’ve lost the instructions, they should be on the manufacturer’s website.
Make sure your BBQ is in good working order
Check that hoses are undamaged and properly attached and that the BBQ is generally in good health. If not, don’t use it and call for a registered gas technician to examine it.
Stay safe when changing the bottle
If using an LPG gas bottle, make sure the gas taps are switched off before changing it and always do so outside, in an open, well-ventilated space
Always clean your BBQ before use
Grease, grime and grilled-on food particles can cause flare-ups so always give your BBQ a good scrub before use. Just remember - a clean grill is a safer grill.
Never cook food on a BBQ inside
Injuries or even fatalities caused by carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when barbecues are used indoors, in an enclosed space. Even if you have finished cooking on your BBQ and it is cool, don’t be tempted to bring it indoors as it could still give off fumes.
Seek a flat surface, away from garden growth
Use your BBQ on a flat surface, where it is unlikely to topple or be pushed over, and situate it away from shrubbery and trees.
Keep children and pets at bay
Where possible, try to keep kids and animals away from the cooking zone to avoid scalding and other accidents. It is also important to supervise the BBQ at all times - never leave it unattended.
Keep an eye out for leaks
If you suspect a leak in one of the hoses or in the gas bottle, brush soapy water around the joints. If you see bubbles appearing, tighten the joints (but not too tight) and call a registered gas fitter to investigate.
Turn off the gas supply when finished
As well as turning the knob that controls the burners to off, make sure that you switch off the gas supply as well.