For anyone who missed the various TV and press announcements last Sunday was Midsummer Day 21st June. If you believe the Weather men then we are in for a scorcher and the barbeques will be firing up as Dad’s all over the land forget their culinary skills are essentially nonexistent and treat the family to a blackened ensemble of burgers, sausages and (maybe) cooked chicken.
I am as guilty as the rest but would not wish to put a dampener on this celebration of blue summer skies. Lord knows they are few and far between.
When you head outside to begin grilling, I urge you to brush up on a few fire safety tips before lighting up.
First, choose the right location for the barbeque well away from the house and any potential combustible structures like garden sheds, pergolas and awnings.
Then make sure your grill pan is fit for use and has not rusted through during the long winter.
Gas fuelled grills cause more accidental fires than charcoal so check all connections and hoses for leaks before lighting. If it doesn’t light first time wait a few seconds for the unlit gas to dissipate before retrying.
Don’t be tempted to add other fuels to charcoal grills to give them a boost. Throwing lighter fuel on will create a fireball.
Take ownership of the Barbeque once lit and set an exclusion zone for the toddlers.
Modern barbeques with hoods can get very hot when closed and have the potential to ignite the cooking fats from the feast. If this happens turn off the gas if you can, and throw a fire blanket over the grill. You can also use a Class F fire extinguisher such as the synergy ABF if things really get out of hand, but as a last resort as it will ruin your food.
Enjoy the summer and I hope the Barbe gets a good outing.
Don’t forget that when all is done dispose of the charcoal embers safely – don’t throw them in the trash bin. Better to let them burn out safely in the grill tray and then do what I do, throw the white ashes on the garden. Seems to make my plants grow better anyway.