Safety tips for home barbecue

Barbecue safety is a must! This is something that could cause a fire or an explosion so you need to have some safety procedures in place.

There are some basic maintenance items that you should do. Checking on the propane intake to the barbecue is number one. Spray soapy water on the connections and the supply lines. If you see bubbles then you have a problem. Turn off the tank and re-connect. If you still see bubbles, then gas is still leaking. Shut off the tank and get the leaky part replaced.

Check your burner by removing the grates and lava rocks. Give it a visual once over. Turn on the barbecue and look to see if the flames come up evenly. Most burners are only good for one to two years so be prepared to replace the burners at least that often if you use your barbecue a lot. Be sure to always open the barbecue lid before you light it. If you do have a problem lighting it then shut it down. Leave the lid open to air out and try it in five minutes or so.

When turning on the gas only open up your propane tank a quarter to one-half turn. That's all the gas your barbecue will need to operate. If there is a problem then it is a bit easier to shut off quickly. Once you start cooking on the barbecue stay with the unit. An accident is just looking to happen with a barbecue on and no one around.

Clean out your ash and grease that builds up at the bottom of the barbecue. Watch for any signs of deterioration or rust.

Check the venturi tubes that deliver the gas to the burner. It is important that they are not plugged up.

When you barbecue is in use it should be at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) from the house or any flammable materials. Some people suggest that it should be 10 feet away! Keep your barbecue in a safe place, out of the way so Fido or the kids won't bump into it or touch it while it is still hot.

Remember, when you shut down the barbecue to shut down the propane tank as well. The propane tanks should be stored outside in a well-ventilated area. Do not store the propane tanks in the garage.