Capt. Gabe Roder says Vancouver fire crews responded to about a dozen barbecue fires last year, which caused more than $95,000 in damage combined.
“There's two different types of barbecues: there are gas barbecues and there are propane barbecues,” he said. “Both of those gases are very volatile if they're not treated with respect."
Here are a few tips for staying safe while cooking outdoors:
- Inspect fuel hoses and clean grease from the barbecue.
- Make sure the hood is open while lighting the barbecue so gas doesn't pool inside.
- Don't use gasoline to get a charcoal barbecue started. Use only charcoal lighting fluid.
- Don't spray lighter fluid on hot coals.
- Never leave a lit barbecue unattended.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing while barbecuing or grilling.
- Make sure your barbecue is at least one metre from your house or other combustible objects.
- Never move a lit barbecue.
- Make sure the gas grill is shut off and has cooled completely before covering it.
- Extinguish coals when you’re finished barbecuing. Submerge coals in a metal pail of water while using tongs and wearing oven mitts.
Source: Vancouver Fire and Rescue, Canadian Propane Association, City of Edmonton