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April 17, 2009
Toronto Fire Services promotes safe barbecuing
  
Now that spring is here, Torontonians will soon be out barbecuing on their decks and patios, or at cottages.

"It's extremely important to check barbecues to ensure that components are clean and in good working order before the grilling begins," says Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart.

Below are seven tips to help you get started safely.

1. Before you begin grilling, make sure your propane or natural gas barbecue is in good working order. Clean any dirt and debris from your barbecue, including cobwebs and dust in the burner tubes that have built up over the winter. Remove the grates and lava rocks, cleaning them in warm, soapy water. Replace any defective parts. Ensure that the barbecue hose is free of cracks or holes. Rusty and damaged propane cylinders, or cylinders that are more than 10 years old, must be replaced. Call a certified fuel appliance repair person if you do not feel comfortable making safety checks yourself.

2. When lighting your barbecue, open the lid before lighting. Turn the propane cylinder valve to the open position and then open the individual grill controls. Light the barbecue by pressing the igniter button. If your barbecue does not have an igniter button, insert a long match or lighter into the side burner hole. Always have the match or lighter lit before you turn on the grill controls.

3. Take your time when replacing an empty cylinder, securing it properly before you open the tank. Check for leaks before lighting your barbecue. If your barbecue connection has an "O" ring, check it for fractures and cracks every time you replace your cylinder.

4. Keep children and pets far away from a hot grill, and never leave them unsupervised in the area of an ignited barbecue.

5. Barbecue only in an open outdoor space. Keep the barbecue at least three metres from windows and doors and away from wooden fences, walls, combustible overhead roofs -- and away from trees with low-hanging branches.

6. Clean your grill and burners of grease to minimize the chance that you will have a serious grease fire.

7. When grilling, use long-handled tongs and brushes that put an extra bit of distance between yourself and the flames. Wear oven mitts and a heavy apron to protect your skin from fire. If you burn yourself, run the affected area under cool water for five minutes. If your burn is serious (with charring or blistering), seek medical attention right away. For more information, visit this website: http://www.toronto.ca/fire/prevention/safe_barbecuing.htm

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.


Media contact: Toronto Fire Services Media Line, 416-338-0763



 

 

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