How to tell if your barbecue is plotting to kill you?

The long-waited time for barbecues and outdoor dinners has finally come and we couldn’t be more excited. The freezer is stocked, the bottles are cooling and the friends are invited. Really, nothing could possibly go wrong.

Or maybe it can. The barbecue, the star of the show, might have some sinister plans, especially if you haven’t taken good care of it throughout the year, or you fail to pay attention to it at the right moments.

But don’t worry, we’ve prepared a list of the most common barbecue dangers, so you can start take precautions on time.

Here are 8 ways your barbecue could actually harm you:

  1. Winter damage

If you haven’t lit the barbecue since last year, it’s time to make an inspection, and ensure all its parts are safe to use and in good condition. Check the burner for any obstructions and make sure the gas supply hose is properly connected and not leaking. If you detect a leak, do not proceed to light the barbecue. That’s it, your party is cancelled.

  1. Old or neglected propane cylinders

Many people just buy a propane cylinder and forget about it. But propane cylinders have an expiry date too, and it should be checked every year, as it could be a safety hazard. If you notice any dents and rust it’s a good idea to have it checked by a gas professional, and possibly start thinking of a new one.

  1. Not using a Gas Safe registered engineer when you’re having a barbecue installed.

Of course this doesn’t apply for portable barbecues but any built-in barbecue that requires piping should not be a DIY work. If you’re planning to have a built-in barbecue fitted, book one of Rightio’s Gas Safe engineers here.

  1. Food poisoning

Just because your meat is going to go on the grill, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat. Wash your hands before cooking or having food, as the garden is a dirty place. Buy your meat local, or from a trusted shop, and don’t just go for whatever’s cheapest. Finally, make sure it’s fully cooked, or your stomach might not hold it for long.

  1. Fire danger

Do not locate your barbecue close to the house, or near any easily-flammable surfaces (such as your wooden porch). Ideally put it on a wooden surface and have a fire extinguisher nearby.

  1. Charred food

If you like your meat overcooked and charred we have some bad news for you. Cooking meat until it goes black produces cancerous chemicals, and people who prefer this type of diet are twice more likely to develop bladder cancer.

  1. Carbon Monoxide poisoning

Barbecues produce carbon monoxide, which is fine, as long as they’re in the open. But do not use them inside, and make sure the smoke and fumes are not going in your house. Be aware – even if the barbecue has cooled down it might still be producing carbon monoxide. Do not bring it inside until at least a few hours after using it.

  1. Loose clothing

Sure that flowy summer dress is a perfect choice for an alfresco dinner but make sure you don’t go anywhere near the barbecue. Just a bit of wind and a stray spark can be all that’s needed to set your clothes on fire.

After you’ve made sure your barbecue is safe, and potential hazards are eliminated, it’s time to start preparing the garden for all the summer parties. Read how to get your garden ready for barbecue season here.

How to tell if your barbecue is plotting to kill you?

  1. Winter damage

    If you haven’t lit the barbecue since last year, it’s time to make an inspection, and ensure all its parts are safe to use and in good condition. Check the burner for any obstructions and make sure the gas supply hose is properly connected and not leaking. If you detect a leak, do not proceed to light the barbecue. That’s it, your party is cancelled.

  2. Old or neglected propane cylinders

    Many people just buy a propane cylinder and forget about it. But propane cylinders have an expiry date too, and it should be checked every year, as it could be a safety hazard. If you notice any dents and rust it’s a good idea to have it checked by a gas professional, and possibly start thinking of a new one.

  3. Not using a Gas Safe registered engineer when you’re having a barbecue installed.

    Of course this doesn’t apply for portable barbecues but any built-in barbecue that requires piping should not be a DIY work. If you’re planning to have a built-in barbecue fitted, book one of Rightio’s Gas Safe engineers here.

  4. Food poisoning

    Just because your meat is going to go on the grill, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat. Wash your hands before cooking or having food, as the garden is a dirty place. Buy your meat local, or from a trusted shop, and don’t just go for whatever’s cheapest. Finally, make sure it’s fully cooked, or your stomach might not hold it for long.

  5. Fire danger

    Do not locate your barbecue close to the house, or near any easily-flammable surfaces (such as your wooden porch). Ideally put it on a wooden surface and have a fire extinguisher nearby.

  6. Charred food

    If you like your meat overcooked and charred we have some bad news for you. Cooking meat until it goes black produces cancerous chemicals, and people who prefer this type of diet are twice more likely to develop bladder cancer.

  7. Carbon Monoxide poisoning

    Barbecues produce carbon monoxide, which is fine, as long as they’re in the open. But do not use them inside, and make sure the smoke and fumes are not going in your house. Be aware – even if the barbecue has cooled down it might still be producing carbon monoxide. Do not bring it inside until at least a few hours after using it.

  8. Loose clothing

    Sure that flowy summer dress is a perfect choice for an alfresco dinner but make sure you don’t go anywhere near the barbecue. Just a bit of wind and a stray spark can be all that’s needed to set your clothes on fire.

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