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Do you have safety measures in place for your BBQ? : PF Friday grab a brew #73

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This weekend is going to be hot and it’s the time when pools are opening, garage sales are in full swing and families are firing up the BBQ for summer gatherings.

If you’re as attentive to what people are putting on the street corners for free you will notice and abundance of free BBQ’s end up with “FREE” signs on them.

Sounds like a great deal but before you throw it into the back of your truck make sure the BBQ is safe and if it comes with a propane tank read what I learned was a lesson none of us want to learn.

It’s also a time where the fire department sends out that message to be safe when using a BBQ and hopes that you take all the precautions necessary so they don’t have to visit your house. One of the best BBQ party ideas I can give you is to be safe.

When I read an article on Yahoo yesterday about a BBQ fire it had me thinking about whether I was doing everything I could to protect my wife and I plus our house. Not even just that but our neighbours as well.

An Edmonton man Jack Cook learned the hard way this past Tuesday when he failed to make sure a grease pan was under his gas barbeque. Needless to say he stepped away from the grill for a few minutes while grilling steaks and came back to his house on fire.

I can’t even imagine what this poor family went through but sometimes we have to learn from others mistakes so we don’t make them ourselves. Learning the hard way is tough but we don’t all have to be in that situation as long as we are smart and safe about grilling.

Mr. Cook had said that the grease had dripped down onto the hose connected to the propane tank and the grease caught on fire. A nightmare waiting to happen if you don’t have a grease pan collecting the grease. So learn from his mistake and always check to make sure your grease pan is present and clean.

I don’t know but by the sounds of it the gas BBQ was close to the house as it started to burn the siding of the house and then the deck which resulted in $250,000 damage to the home. Not the best way to start the summer off but now they have to stay with family until they can build their home again.


The best grill


Sometimes the best grills are simply using charcoal because the chances of explosion are far less than with a gas BBQ. That doesn’t mean to say that accidents can happen because they can just as easily when using charcoal as opposed to a gas grill.

Our neighbour is highly afraid of using a gas BBQ and that’s because of the amount of accidents which cause major fires, injuries and fatalities that happen every year. People don’t just BBQ in the summer they BBQ all year-long even in the winter.

He said he has no interest in purchasing a gas BBQ and is quite content using charcoal. Every time he sparks up his BBQ I won’t lie that the smell comes through our windows and makes us drool. The gas BBQ does something similar but it’s a far different type of BBQ smell and taste with charcoal.

The best grill for you really depends on what you fancy and whether you are comfortable using a gas barbeque because not everyone is. I know my wife is always nervous when I’m outside using the BBQ and now I understand why.


Protecting your investment


When I say protecting your investment you would think I’m talking about your belongings but what I’m talking about is you and your family from disaster striking.

I never used a gas BBQ until I moved to Canada and often wondered how to start a gas barbeque the right way because a few of the people I saw were using a lighter which made me quiver.  Although you may have grown up around the gas BBQ I did not.

If you are looking for a BBQ you can bet that there is an exclusive BBQ shop in every major city. It wasn’t too long ago we were researching barbeques and to be honest there are barbeques galore out there so picking the right one is always about price and what you expect from a BBQ in terms of bells and whistles.

If all you want is your food cooked you can snag a great deal but if you want an outdoor grilling station that resembles your indoor kitchen be ready to pay the big bucks. Mind you some of them sure are sharp-looking. I’m a big fan of BBQ ribs and steak so I do enjoy having friends over for a healthy BBQ dinner for an evening of fun.

We purchased a stainless steel BBQ just before Zellers closed down in our city for a fantastic price 50% off. It was not the first one we owned but it was far better than the 10-year-old gas BBQ my wife had bought years ago. Parts were missing and it was making me nervous because as much as we all want to be hero’s if a fire starts it’s best not to play with it.

Sure, some people may think it’s funny but the guy who walked away from his gas BBQ for a few minutes isn’t laughing. Something simple as a drip tray missing can cause massive damage and take lives. Every summer without fail we hear the fire trucks going to another BBQ incident or we read about it in the paper.

It’s important to protect everything you own when grilling outdoors and never bring the BBQ inside the house. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen sparking up the BBQ in their garage or on a covered deck high above the ground.

I just wouldn’t feel safe and even if they are deemed safe by regulation to be honest, I wouldn’t take the chance. Having just paid off our mortgage the last thing I would want to do is blow up the house or start a massive fire.


BBQ safety tips


I’m sure there are many ways to be safe when using a gas BBQ or even charcoal but I took it upon myself to make some changes so we can at least feel a bit safe about grilling this summer.

The fire chief Russell Croome gave some great tips in the article such as making sure your propane tank is less than 10 years old and if it is well it’s time to get a new one. Your life is worth more than the cost of a propane tank so don’t risk it.

I have two propane tanks as well because there’s nothing worse than getting caught mid-way through grilling and running out of propane.

He also suggested cleaning the grease tray before lighting up and checking your hoses to make sure there are no holes or leaks. These are brilliant suggestions by the fire chief and only take a few minutes to go over and again I’m sure your life and investments are worth a few minutes.

What I did was build a concrete pad in the back garden which is more than 3 meters away from the house as fire chief Croome suggests and I have the BBQ sitting on top of that drip with the pan present.

I clean our BBQ after every use and the end of season as I’m not a winter grill warrior. I also keep a spray bottle of water near the BBQ as well as a fire extinguisher because you never know. If you have any questions I’m sure your local fire department would be more than happy to help answer them.

You can pick up a fire extinguisher at Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Lowes and Rona for a reasonable price. I think we paid just under $30 for ours and as well know a fire extinguisher can save lives and protect what we work so hard for.

What type of BBQ do you use?

How do you protect yourself from a BBQ disaster happening?

What other ways can you protect yourself when using a BBQ?


Top recipe


strawberry upside down cake

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Foodie Bloggers from around the world.

Once a week I pick one recipe that has been submitted as my Top Recipe of the week. Trust me when I say this is no easy task as some of these foodies can cook up a storm.

This week I picked a lovely Strawberry Upside Down Cake  from Bunny’s Warm Oven which looks so moist and delicious especially if you love strawberries like I do.


Weekly CBB posts


If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!


Weekly reads


Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read online over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my top picks.


Well, that’s a wrap for this PF Friday’s Grab a brew #73. Happy budgeting and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.



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  1. Ahh unfortunate family 🙁 at least the family members were safe. Now we’re reminded again to be careful if we do anything close to fire, because we could be the next person who experiences the same thing. I personally like to use charcoal BBQ, like you say, it’s safer and it’s feel like having ‘real’ BBQ using it 😀

  2. Thanks for including my latest post 🙂

    I stay away from BBQs after a bad incident where I burnt off my eyebrows, all the peach fuzz on my face and singed the short hairs around my face loose from my ponytail. It was a big propane fire ball and I was too close to it, so my fiance does the BBQing in our household.

  3. We have two big BBQ’s here. One hubby picked up at the Salvation Army Thrift store that runs off propane and the other is the main unit that hooks up to the natural gas line. The gas line for that was installed by a gas technician as required. Neither one has seen much use since hubby has been ill but I will ask the older boy to BBQ something for dinner the odd time. He can be trusted to pull the unit away from the wall and to stay with it. Hubby always liked to baste the meat with beer, much to my disgust. Of course he was drinking the beer as well and claimed that you need to baste or the meat dries out and you can’t taste the beer once the food is cooked. I don’t baste meat while cooking inside and have never had a problem with the meat drying out and, yes I can taste the beer. I’m not a fan of beer at the best of times and do not drink it. He’s drinking it the whole time he is out there (another reason to be glad he isn’t BBQ-ing anymore!!!) so he already has the taste of it in his mouth and doesn’t notice it in the food.
    I trust the older boy to BBQ safely far more than I trust his father because of the fact he would be drinking while using the BBQ. Regardless I keep the phone handy…just in case….
    That recipe looks yummy!!!! Might have to try it when I get my berries next month……… Have a good weekend Mr CBB!!,

    1. I think when you cook meat inside it will cook in the juices and for the most part self baste but on the BBQ meat can easily dry out as all those precious juices drip out. I can see his point and I remember you telling me how much you hated him using the beer lol. As long as the BBQ is being used safely then I think that’s what’s important.

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