Remember the show, Home Improvement? Wilson, the neighbor would peek over and give advice to the bumbling Tim, “the tool man” Taylor. During one particular episode of his show, Tim decides to use rocket fuel to start his outdoor grill. Of course, massive flames shoot out and then when Tim tries to contain it, the entire grill ignites and blasts off like, you guessed it, a rocket. Cue the laugh track!
At any rate, as the snow melts and the tulips poke their colorful heads up, more folks will be heading outside to grill … hmm can’t you just taste the marinated veggies and steak?!
In your HOA or COA, you may have common areas with grills that your residents can use, single family homes with back decks, and even high-rises with balconies. Now is a great time to share some grilling safety tips with your budding chefs and burger slingers. After all, no one wants to see a rocket-propelled grill!
Keep grills away from structures. For HOAs or COAs who allow grills on balconies, this is a particularly important rule to adhere to and/or review each year. The National Fire Protection Association reports that more than 27% of fires started by outdoor grills started in a courtyard, terrace or patio, while 29% started on an exterior balcony or open porch. And don’t forget to trim trees and branches that are dangling over an open flame.
Gas grills need to be cleaned and maintained. Remind your residents to check connections between the grill and any gas hookups, and to use the appropriate fuel. (Um, no accelerants please). Use a strong wire brush to clean the grates.
Buckets of sand are extremely useful if a fire breaks out. Buy some inexpensive buckets for residents (think The Dollar Store) or for the common areas and fill them with sand. Boom, engagement!
Consider encouraging residents to install carbon monoxide detectors, especially if the grill is located on a balcony or near a home entrance.
Remind people to use long-handled grilling tools and check for loose clothing before firing up the grill.
Party’s over. When it’s all said and done, make sure both the fuel lines and burners are turned off, and the grill is totally cooled off.
Don’t forget to let your meat rest after you take it off the grill, it will lose less juice when you cut into it! YUM and happy grilling!