5 barbecue safety tips you must know before grilling

Ready to make the most out of barbecue season? Read our top 5 tips on how to keep things safe this summer

(Image credit: Danny de Jong / Unsplash)

It’s a well-known fact that us Brits adore barbecue season. There’s something so comforting about enjoying delicious, home-cooked food with friends and family in the sunshine. 

However, as popular as they are, barbecues can be dangerous if not handled responsibly. The best barbecues will have reliable safety features, but it is the way you use which depends on how safe it is. 

Very few people are aware of the mistakes and hazards of barbecuing, which can be made even more dangerous when the booze starts flowing. We’ve put together an expert guide to the top five safety tips you should follow when barbecuing at home, so you can have an enjoyable and safe experience every time you use yours. 

1. Keep your barbecue away from your home 

Your barbecue should be kept at least 10 feet away from your home, and even further is better! This includes garages, awnings and especially balconies. You don’t want the fire to suddenly flare up and spread onto anything, so on stable ground and in open air is the best option. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills. 

2. Clean your barbecue regularly

Allowing grease and fat to build up provides more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups, so make sure it is clean before lighting to prevent dangerous sparks from spitting up. This also means your food will have the best cooking conditions. Did you know there are some foods you should never put on a barbecue?  

3. Check for gas leaks

You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas barbecue by doing the soapy water leak lest. Make a solution of half fairy liquid and half water, and rub it on the hoses and connections. Slowly turn the gas on (with the grill lid open) and if the soap forms bubbles, that’s a sign you have a leak. Make sure not to use the barbecue until the canister has been replaced. 

4. Keep a fire extinguisher close by (and know how to use it!) 

Fire can spread in seconds if you’re not careful, so having a fire extinguisher nearby is a good precaution to have. However, there’s no point in having one if you don’t know how to use it. Take a few moments before you start grilling to check how it works. You never know, it could save someone’s life! 

5. Never turn on the gas whilst your grill lid is closed

This can cause gas to build up inside your grill, meaning a fireball can explode in your face once opened - not great. Always make sure it’s open when turning on (providing there are no leaks) to keep things safe.

Ready to go? Read our barbecuing tips and tricks so you can be even more prepared!

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.