There’s nothing like outdoor grilling in the summertime. From camping and cabin living, to even just trying to escape the heat of your home, outdoor grilling can be a great alternative to cook outdoors and beat the heat. But beware; a BBQ placed too close to a home becomes a hazard for burning.

Keeping your BBQ a safe distance from your property

Keeping a safe distance between your property and BBQ lowers your risk of causing any avoidable fire and smoke damage to your property. Regardless of whether your BBQ is charcoal or gas, it should be at least 10 feet away from your property. That includes your garage, deck railings and any other structures!

What is a grill flare-up?

If you’re a frequent griller, it’s likely you are familiar with flare-ups. Grill flare-ups can creep up on you and grow quickly. If you combine that with a BBQ that has a lot of grease built up, you have created the potential to experience a catastrophic fire. Although grill flare-ups are preventable, it’s still imperative to understand the characteristics of a grilling flare-up and how to practice safe outdoor grilling.

Although a grill flare-up may appear like a grease fire, they are not the same thing. A grill flare-up is a large burst of intense flames that results from fat dripping onto hot coals. Although a flare-up could happen from lack of maintenance, it usually starts when you place meat on the grill. Typically, it dies down quickly. Rather than causing alarm, simply move the food you are grilling onto a different location on your grill to allow for the flame to settle.

Grill flare-ups most commonly occur on charcoal grills where the dripping fat pools down onto the hot coals and causes the dripping fat to ignite. Although many gas grills feature drip guards designed to divert the dripping fat from the heating element, that grease can build up over time and can risk accumulating into a serious grease fire.

How to prevent a grill flare-up

The main reason for a fire getting out of control is due to a dirty grill. Ensure you are brushing your grill to scrape off any remaining food. Another common way to prevent grill flare-ups is to trim off any excess fat from the edges before grilling or reduce the oil amount on the food you will be grilling. Minimizing the amount of oil you brush onto your foods will reduce the risk of a grill flare-up. Additionally, if you are planning on grilling marinated meat, make sure the marinade isn’t dripping onto the grill, especially if it is high in oil content.

Even though most grill-flare ups are preventable, if you happen to find yourself in a situation where the flames are continuing to burn even after moving the food, or they’ve spread into the grill, this likely means, your grill-flare has evolved into a grease fire.

How to extinguish a grease fire

The number one rule when it comes to grease fires is to never put water on a grease fire. Water causes the fire to continue spreading, putting you and your property at risk. Instead you need to deprive the fire of oxygen. If your grease fire is minor, simply close the lid and vents or dump baking soda onto the fire. Baking soda can reduce a small fire quickly. 

Lastly, it’s always good practice to keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case a minor fire advances into a more serious fire, but if the fire spreads beyond your control or gets too hot, call 911 immediately and get far away from the fire.

Fire and smoke disaster recovery and restoration

Following a fire, or any smoke related damage, Streamside Property Restoration is here to get your life back to normal as soon as possible.  We are available for immediate response and inspection of your property following a fire or any smoke related damage. We have the experience and resources to restore your property back to its pre-loss condition, no matter the level of damage.