Barbecue Season Is In Full Swing: Don’t Go Up In Flames
The joys of outdoor cooking also bring fire and associated risks. Here are some safety reminders for gas and propane barbecues to protect you and your property from harm or damage.
• Never operate a barbecue in an enclosed space, close to a structure, or near combustibles. Have a one metre radius around it free of obstructions.
• Keep your barbecue in tip top shape. Check for hose breakage, valve leaks, and other parts before securing the tank well and turning on the gas.
• When in use, never leave the grill unattended, and when finished turn the tank off before the burners so the remaining gas in the lines can burn off. This can help prevent a flash the next time the BBQ is in use.
• Make sure your fire extinguisher is easily accessible and in good working order.
• Propane companies use an additive to create an unpleasant odour like rotten eggs to make a propane leak easier to detect, so you can shut off supply immediately, stop using the grill, and clear the area.
• Although the risk of carbon monoxide is low when using a BBQ outdoors, it is not entirely eliminated. Learn to recognize the signs of CO2 poisoning and take appropriate action.
• Store propane tanks in an upright position, in a spot where they are unlikely to be knocked or bumped to prevent any safety risk.
The following simple tips from the Insurance Bureau of Canada can help you prepare your home for winter and minimize damage over the colder months which are just around the corner.
- Test and maintain your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Ensure your furnace, wood stove, and any other heating sources are in good working condition; have them inspected, maintained and cleaned before winter starts, and clean them and replace filters each month during the winter.
- Trim tree branches that are close to your house and electrical wires.
- Run water through your plumbing fixtures regularly and test your plumbing shutoff valves.
- Prevent freezing of pipes by fitting exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping.
- Inspect your attic for frost accumulation and check your roof and eaves troughs for potential ice dams and icicles.
- Keep your sidewalk and front steps clear of snow and ice.
- Keep snow away from gas meters, gas appliance vents, and basement windows.
- If you go on vacation, leave the heat on and have someone check on your home while you’re away.