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Grilling Safety Tips for BBQ & Outdoor Dining

submitted on 22 September 2022
Grilling Safety Tips for BBQ & Outdoor Dining Ever since barbecuing and outdoor dining were popularised in the 50's and 60's, more and more couples and families have made it their summer hobby. As a result, outdoor dining has boomed to new heights, whether it's for entertaining a large group of friends and family or just having a bit of fun with your spouse and your kids. With the addition and innovation that came with the development of technology, barbecuing has been made much easier and much more fun, effectively making grilling and outdoor dining a staple during summer vacations.

Safety is one of the most important things you must consider before you start barbecuing for the first time. As exciting as it may seem at first, ensuring that you and your family stay safe during an outdoor lunch or dinner is far more important. That's why we've put together some of the most essential safety tips when it comes to grilling and outdoor dining.

If you want to learn more about the different kinds of grills, rubs, and accessories and want to get some for yourself, visit Dickson Barbeque Centre today.

Keep your barbecue grill away from your home

Grills typically use high heat and flames for cooking as efficiently as possible. Often, this can mean that the fat and other juices drip off your meat and vegetables and can cause flare-ups, creating a fire risk for you and anything that gets too close to it. Unfortunately, this risk can also extend to your own home if you've placed the barbecue grill too close.

Many houses are out of bricks and mortar, both of which are highly resistant to flames. However, many homes also have wood or plastics as supports for windows and doors. To prevent your windows and doors from catching fire and potentially spreading the fire to other parts of your home, many manufacturers and barbecue experts recommend to keep the grill at least 10 feet away from your home, as well as any nearby flammable fences or other structures.

Only use your grill outdoors

For some of the same reasons mentioned before, your grill should always be used outdoors, regardless of the type of fuel it uses. The gas that many grills use to cook the food is very versatile, but also quite toxic in bad environments. Using the gas grill indoors can cause the evaporated propane to rise to the ceiling, where it gets trapped. Eventually, the buildup of gas can drift into your home and create a toxic hazard. Anything that hangs too close can get lit on fire and spread the flame.

Charcoal grills can be just as dangerous as propane grills when brought indoors, though for slightly different reasons. Though charcoal isn't as easy to light when compared to propane, the remaining ash from a grilling session can still be hot even if it's not actively glowing. In a rare case, the ash could cause enough smoke if not an outright fire.

With both propane and charcoal grills, proper ventilation is incredibly important. Even if propane doesn't cause enough fumes to be deadly, both it and charcoal can create carbon monoxide when burned. Trapping that gas inside or even under a gazebo or balcony's roof can be deadly.

Be careful when dealing with your fuel

Though they can occasionally be a fire hazard if not properly taken care of, the most important thing when disposing of your fuel source. When getting rid of the ash from your charcoal grill - or even other kinds - always make sure that you do so with the proper care. As mentioned before, the ash as well as any remaining charcoal briquettes, wood chips or lumps can still be quite hot for some time after you're done. Just because it looks like ash or that it's ashed over doesn't mean it's cold.

Wear proper clothing

There are also a few steps you need to take to make sure that you stay safe while grilling as well. One of the first steps is to make sure you wear the proper clothing. Ideally, avoid long draping sleeves or other dangling items that can either conduct heat or catch on fire. If you use an apron, also make sure that the strings are tied off away from your front, since you're typically facing the barbecue while grilling.

This also extends to the protective wear that's recommended. When using a barbecue, use a pair of fireproof oven mitts to protect your hands from the flames. Additionally, to prevent further burns or overheating, long handled utensils like tongs and spatulas can greatly help. In case of any flare-ups happening, the utensils will keep your arms out of the way.

Follow the proper protocols for lighting your grill

In order to prevent any potential harm when starting up your grill, it's highly recommended that you follow the ignition protocols. Though they may seem far more complex at first, these protocols are simply the safest way to start a grill and are common sense to people experienced with barbecuing.

When starting your grill, make sure you leave the lid open. This is the most vital step to do if you have a gas barbecue, since the propane can build up if the lid isn't open. The ignition can cause a spark and, if the lid is closed, cause an explosion with the gas inside. For charcoal or wood-fueled grills, keeping the lid open simply allows the fire to get a sufficient amount of oxygen.

It's also highly recommended that you avoid using gasoline or lighter fluid to light your coals or wood. While they do allow a much faster start, the chemicals in them can burn and leech into the meat and vegetables you're cooking, either making them toxic or entirely ruining the taste. Instead, invest in an electric fire starter or simply use newspaper and matches to light the coals


These are just some of the best tips on how to ensure that your outdoor dining and barbecuing experience is both safe and fun for you and your family. Keeping the flames out of reach of your home as well as away from your clothes and arms prevents what can become an extremely dangerous situation. And, for an extra level of security, keep a CO2 fire extinguisher or some baking soda on hand to prevent any grease flare ups from growing out of hand.


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