Be the hero of the neighbourhood grill?
Nothing says summer better than a barbecue in the backyard!
Whether you’re wanting to show the neighbours a little hospitality, impress your friends with some flamegrilled fanfare or simply celebrate with the family.
Unfortunately this barbecue season has been anything but an entertainer’s dream for some people and the Fire Service has responded to fires and mishaps that just shouldn’t have happened.
These basic tips will ensure you’re the hero of the grill, and not the meat on it.
Make sure that your barbecue is secure on its trolley or stand. Wonky wheels or shonky fittings can lead to an unstable surface and no-one wants a hot barbecue falling on their jandals. It’s a surefire recipe for burnt, squashed feet and does nothing for the sausages and steak.
Take some time to check the hose and O’rings on your barbecue before hooking up your newly filled gas bottle. Leaking gas and naked flame is never a good combination. Keep your children and pets well clear of the barbecue, and if you are the cook refrain from drinking alcohol until the job is done. Always remember to turn off the gas at the bottle when you’re finished.
Have a garden hose at the ready if your barbecue isn’t gas-powered and extinguish it fully once the food is on the table.
Cleaning your barbecue after use is a great excuse to get out of the dishes. A clean barbecue is a safe barbecue and this can be done while enjoying a quiet drink of your choice.
There are also a few simple rules to ensure you avoid interest from council inspectors and stay onside with the neighbours if you’re looking at putting in a hangi or an umu:
Always tell the friendly folk next door you’re going to have a fire, what time you’re going to start it and how long it’ll be going for. There’s nothing worse for neighbourly relations than pegging up the last of the laundry, only to see it engulfed in smoke coming from the section next door.
Ensure you keep your fire clear of buildings on your property and of course the neighbour’s fence. Keep a garden hose handy and make sure someone is watching the fire at all times.
Do call your local fire station and let them know your fire plans. This way staff can keep track of intentional fires burning in the area. It also gives them an idea of when might be a good time to pop by for a safety check (which may just conveniently coincide with the food being dished up).
Finally, a number of areas have a total ban on burning rubbish in backyards at this time of year. Councils enforce strict rules on this and the Fire Service is obliged to report all incidents that it is called to. Please don’t put us in that position; recycle or get your rubbish removed by acceptable methods.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and be safe!
House fire: Make sure your summer barbecue doesn’t end badly.