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BBQ safety tips

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Summer and BBQ’s go together like rain and wellies. Knowing British summers that may not be the best analogy, but you understand what I mean! Balmy summer days are the perfect backdrop for a spot of alfresco cooking. But every year the BBQ season results in all manner of injuries and illnesses that catch the tong-wielding public unawares. Stay well this summer by reading our helpful  BBQ safety tips.

Fire Fire!

Cooking outdoors does not make fire any less dangerous. Position your BBQ a good distance from the house and any fences, sheds, outbuildings, trees and shrubs. A random gust of wind can quickly whip-up a  fire, and the consequences can be devastating. Invest in a fire extinguisher, and read-up online about how to safely deal with small fires and administer first aid in the event of a burns injury.

Know Your BBQ

If your natural tendency is to chuck away the instruction manual then have a word with yourself right now and suspend that part of your personality where your BBQ is concerned. “They Can Be Dangerous” Learn how to use your kit properly. This applies to good old-fashioned charcoal versions too. Some 60% of BBQ related injuries in the UK each year result from the misuse of accelerants in an effort to breathe life into a failing fire. Having nearly set fire to my rented accommodation as a student in this manner twenty years ago, I can confirm just how dodgy an action this can be. Do as I say, not as I do (or did!).

Beware of the Grease

Unlike kitchen cooking equipment, BBQ grills rarely get cleaned diligently. An accumulation of grease can build up to dangerous levels, creating a fire accelerant under your very nose. And that’s the point – if it ignites and flares-up, it will be your nose it burns. And probably your hair and the rest of your face too! Check your equipment for grease traps before you light your BBQ, and always be vigilant when you are cooking fatty foods like sausages, as dripping fat can cause spontaneous flames to rise unexpectedly.

Don’t Assume that Gas is Safe

BBQ SAFETY TIPSGas is a fuel like any other and should be treated with the appropriate level of respect. Obstructions in the fuel pipe can lead to a build-up of gas or divert the invisible fuel to places it was never meant to be. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. Always check your gas BBQ for blockages, breaks, and any other malfunctions before your begin.

Limit your Drink

Alcohol impairs your judgement. We all know that. You wouldn’t drink and drive (I hope) so don’t imagine it’s acceptable to manage a fire in your garden when you’re tanked up. Deal with the food, have a beer or two whilst you’re doing it, but leave the heavy imbibing until the heat is off.

Food Safety

We’ve all heard of someone getting the runs from an under-cooked chicken leg. It may seem like a bit of a giggle, but the brutal fact is that bacteria thrive on foods that are undercooked or not kept at the right temperature. And food poisoning can be both miserable and downright dangerous. Keeping food cool right up until the point of cooking is the safest way to limit bacterial spread, and making sure foods are cooked until they are done and hot all the way through is essential to ensure all those little microscopic nasties are gone. Beware of flies too, and keep food covered as much as possible.

Once your own personal health and safety inspection and rules are complete and clear, then the fun can begin. And if you’ve followed these tips it is likely that your fun will continue, and not be interrupted by an unexpected trip to A&E! Bon appétit!

 

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About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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