Fire Safety Tip of the Month – June
Barbeque Fire Safety Tips
Every year, 5,000 Canadians are injured while using backyard barbecue grills. It’s usually a case of good products used incorrectly. Here are the most common mistakes and key safety tips.
1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
2. Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build upon your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare-ups.
3. Check for gas leaks. You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that’s a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.
4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today’s decor is mostly made of artificial fibres that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won’t harm your food, so dinner won’t be ruined!
6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple of steps of your grill. And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don’t waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.
7. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes the gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face.
8. Leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
9. Overload your grill with food. This applies especially fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.
10. Use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide, the deadly colourless, odourless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air or it can kill you, your family and pets.
Click on a brochure below to learn more about these important topics!
Hello From Morden Fire & Rescue!
Seems like fall is quickly upon us whether we want it or not.
On the Fire Department, this also sparks (no pun intended) a new season of training and preparedness for members on the department. Besides our regular training night, courses are kicked into high gear, and the majority of our members (35 total) have singed up for a variety of different courses to assist in expanding their knowledge to protect the citizens of our community in the best way possible. This can be time consuming, but the end result is a safe, well trained fire fighter. Thank you for all of the support given over the past year. It is much appreciated among all of the members.
Now, as a fire prevention tip for the fall, remember, if you have a battery operated smoke detector in your home, replace the battery to make sure it is operational. A good time to do this is when we roll the clocks back. Also, fall brings lots of leaves. Your fire pit in the back yard is NOT the spot to get rid of the leaves. Morden is proud to provide a compost program, and leaves are ideal for this purpose. Use the green bins or haul them to the compost site provided to us on the south end of town on Willcocks Road.
Andy Thiessen, Fire Chief
Morden Fire & Rescue