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Summer Tips: Barbecue Fire Safety

Karen Boos Idaho's Best Realtor


Summer is the best time of the year to explore the great outdoors while the weather is warm and clear. This is also the time in which fires are most likely to happen, planned or not. Whether you’re camping and sitting around the campfire, or setting off fireworks on Independence Day, or you’re at home barbecuing in your backyard, fire is an essential part of enjoying the summer, but it also comes with risks. Let’s explore some ways in which you can stay safe this summer while lighting up the old backyard barbecue. After all, an unwanted fire in your backyard can easily spread to your house or a neighbor’s house and no one wants that!

Make Room For Fun
Part of keeping your house safe from fire risk from your BBQ is keeping it away from your house when you’re using it. Make sure that your BBQ is at least 6 feet from the side of your house to ensure that heat and sparks do not have a chance to ignite on your house’s exterior or roof. You can also put a ring of sand around your fire pit to help discourage runaway sparks or heat from seeping through your rock ring. Also keep chairs and stools away from the fire pit or BBQ as they can be tripping hazards.

Light Carefully
Whether it’s in Boise, Meridian, or Eagle, you have to be careful how you light your BBQ or fire pit this summer. When lighting, make sure to use lighter fluid sparingly and keep a safe distance back while lighting. Use fireplace matches (with long sticks) or a long-necked lighter. Keep your face away from the lighting surface, not above. A fire needs fuel, heat, and air to survive. If you don’t light your BBQ with enough air flow, then your fire will be smokey and less effective. Never spray lighter fluid on a lit fire as the resulting flames could cause a fire outside of the BBQ or fire pit. If you have long hair, please make sure it is tied back or tucked under a hat before lighting your fire! You don’t want the fire to give you an unwanted haircut.

Karen Boos. Idaho's #1 Real Estate Agent

Be Prepared!
Now, no one wants a fire, but every time you light the barbecue, there is a chance something could happen. Always keep a charged fire extinguisher handy! (And remember to check the charge at least once a year.) Also, it doesn’t hurt to have your garden hose on standby as well. This can be very effective at stopping a small fire or smouldering debris. As a bonus tip, we always recommend keeping a bucket full of sand or loose dirt handy. Why, you ask? This is to use in case of a grease fire. In case of a grease fire, you won’t want to use water or most fire extinguishers, but sand and/or salt can put out a grease fire quickly and safely.

This year, be sure to have fun and to do lots of backyard barbecues with friends and family and remember, fire safety starts with you.

Karen Boos