Grilling Safety Tips0
By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel
Fourth of July signals the start of outdoor grilling season. Has your grill been left out during the severe winter months? Keeping your grill in a protective area can increase the life of your equipment.
Here is a story about what happened to a friend when she used her grill for the first time this summer. The grill was turned on and lit, and everything seemed fine. After five minutes she went into the house to get the meat she was planning to cook. When she returned outside she found the grill had burst into flames! It was too engulfed in flames to touch the dial to turn off the gas and a dangerous situation was at hand. My own thought is that the unit might very well have exploded if it became too hot with the flames covering the whole grill. The friend took a stick she found in the yard and pushed the dial to “off” without getting too close to the grill. Then she ran into the house to retrieve the fire extinguisher. Within minutes, the fire was out. When everything cooled down, she was able to closely inspect the grill to see what caused the fire. The whole bottom frame of the gas grill was rusted out. The pipes that contained the gas flow were also badly rusted. Apparently the top of the grill and side wooden slats were cleaned, but no further inspection was given to the equipment.
The moral of the story here is to inspect every piece of equipment stored over the winter before using it in the summer. This should apply to camping grills, oil or kerosene lamps and any other summer vacation or sport equipment that is powered by electric or fuel. Frequently the dials, controls or metal parts of these units can rust, break or need replacement because of age. Check all controls and replace if you suspect damage or excessive wear.
Recently we saw a TV safety segment that showed the effects of what happens when a steel wool brush is used to clean food particles off the grill. Some of the steel wool stuck to the grill and ended up in the hamburgers that were cooked later on. The suggestion was to buy a barbeque brush with brass bristles that do not come off when using. Visit any store that sells barbeque accessories to select the safest brush. Happy grilling!