BBQ Safety 101

The warm weather brings families and friends together with backyard meals grilled on the BBQ. Before you start cooking up a storm on your BBQ this summer, be sure to follow these safety tips to keep you and your family safe while grilling.

Set-Up Your BBQ on Even Ground

No one wants their food sliding around, or even worse, have charcoal moving around causing concentrated heat on one part of the grill and not evenly dispersed to perfectly grill your veggies. Make sure you set up your bbq on solid, even ground to avoid cooking problems and safety hazards. Additionally, before you start grilling, remember to look up and check what may be above you! Overhanging branches pose a huge risk above barbecues and could result in a fire. Have a designated area in your yard where the barbecue belongs.

Grill Cleanliness

The secret to enjoy a great BBQ is to ensure it is as clean as it can be at the start of the season, and as you use it throughout the summer. One of the biggest causes for flare-ups in BBQ’s is due to grease and food buildup. Before and after you use the BBQ, put in the right kind of grease — elbow grease  — and thoroughly scrape the grill from any leftover food, ash, debris and grease to ensure no flare ups occur. Don’t forget to check the bottom of the grill in case there were drippings.

Always Have a Fire Extinguisher On Hand

Whenever you’re dealing with fire, you should have a fire extinguisher on hand. Verify the expiration date at the start of every BBQ season. If a grease fire occurs, use your fire extinguisher immediately. Throwing water on a grease fire will make it worse.

Check Yourself Before You…Burn Yourself!

To avoid burns or fires, ensure your hair is tied back and loose sleeves are secured when lighting your BBQ. While you cook your meal, it isn’t a bad idea to also use long tongs or other long BBQ accessories so you can stay as far back from the grill as possible. If you are wondering which accessories to choose, have a look through our accessories page.

Don’t Turn Your Back to the BBQ

While the dinner party is in full swing, and the BBQ is open, keep your friends and family safe by being present and keeping your eyes on the grill. If you need to step away to grab a refreshment, just make sure you close the lid while the BBQ is not in use. Lastly, if there are children around, designate the BBQ a no children zone and ensure the other adults help keep them away from the grilling area.

Grill With a Breeze

Even though your friends and family are drooling over the smell of what is grilling on the BBQ, some airflow is definitely needed. Avoid grilling with your BBQ in areas like a garage, shed…or any enclosed area!

Ensure Propane or Gas is Closed

We know how fun grilling with your friends and family can be but it’s important to not get too carried away! When you are dealing with propane tanks and gas lines, it’s important to stay focused on the task at hand, in order to maintain a safe grilling area. It can be easy to forget to close off the gas supply when you are enjoying delicious food, but it’s one of the most crucial things to remember when using your BBQ.

Have FUN

It is always a summer treat being able to BBQ for friends and family, so FUN is inevitable. For the safety of everyone, have a designated BBQer. Cooking with fire, propane, or gas, are all very dangerous if not handled safely.


We hope these BBQ safety tips help keep the dinner parties going all summer long. Get your BBQ ready, put on some great tunes and get grilling!

If you have any more questions or are looking to upgrade your BBQ, visit The Fireplace Centre and Patio Shop in Ottawa! Our two locations (1722 Carling Avenue and 1452 Cyrville Rd) are staffed with BBQ experts to help with any questions or concerns. Please visit us online or in-store for more information!


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