Everybody loves an outdoor barbecue. However, outdoor cooking can also lead to tragedy when carelessness causes serious burns. The Canton Fire Prevention Bureau offers the following safety checklist to use when cooking outdoors:
- When lighting a grill, the safest fire starters are chemicals in cake form or a charcoal electric starter.
- Never add fire starter after you have started your barbecue. The heat from the coals could ignite the stream of liquid and burn back to the can, causing it to explode in your hands. To speed a slow fire, tuck dry kindling under the charcoal.
- Make sure the barbecue grill is level and steady and keep a container of water nearby.
- After cooking, soak the coals in water. Dispose of charcoal in a metal container with a tight fitting lid. Many brush fires start because hot coals, thought to be cool, were dumped in leaves.
- All barbecue grills should never be brought inside the house, tent, or recreational vehicle, because of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning in sealed or confined areas.
- Keep small children away from the barbecue.
- A bag of damp or wet charcoal should be immediately disposed of, as it can spontaneously combust.