We all relish a nice BBQ. The meat is enjoyable, and the friends and family are even better. But sometimes, you may notice that your grill is on fire. So, you should know how to put out grill & grease fires.
For any BBQ enthusiast, it’s best to know what to do if a grill is on fire. The ideal way is to turn off the source of the fire, extinguish the flames and practice better cleanup, maintenance, and safety precautions to prevent any future fires.
Mistakes can occur, and they happen when you least expect them. If you ever catch yourself caught in the unlucky presence of a grill fire, this article covers some of the most common causes of grill fire breakouts and how to put out a grill fire.
What Commonly Causes Grill Fires?
Many situations can result in grill fires. The most common ones are:
A grease fire occurs while cooking when grease, usually animal fat, falls onto the charcoal, collects, and then gets hot. When the oil reaches a specific temperature, it can begin to burn and may catch fire if there is a flame source. That can occur when you overuse grease or leave food out on the grill grates for an extended period.
You Don’t Secure Your Grill Properly
Outdoor grills are often left hazardously close to fences, cabins, courtyards, and sundecks. That acts as a severe fire hazard, so they must be at least ten feet away from such edifices.
Food Is On The Grill For Too Long
Here is the most common reason for grill fires. That can happen for multiple reasons. But it mainly occurs when someone leaves their food on their grill for an extended period because they forget about it.
Another reason is that the charcoal has no heat left to cook the food, but BBQ enthusiasts think they can still keep cooking with the cover still left on the meat. That locks the heat inside the grill to dry out the food, which can then catch fire from a tiny spark.
How To Put Out A Grill Fire
A grill fire is one of the most unsafe accidents on your grill. You have to be ready if such a thing happens. There are plenty of methods to put out a grill fire. The essential one is not to panic and remember the correct guidelines.
If your grill is on fire, turning off the gas rings is the first thing to try. Turn the dials off on your grill to stop gas from feeding the flames so that you can deal with the fire without it getting complicated.
If the flames are too tall or adjacent, turn off the grill and move it away from nearby furniture or other flammable items. Use a washcloth or oven mittens to move your grill away from any material that can catch fire.
You can also close the oven cover to reduce the oxygen concentration to help minimize the fire so it can’t spread to other parts of the house. Use mud, sand, or ash to smother the flames till you extinguish them.
Make sure not to water. Instead, it would be best to use salt, bicarbonate of soda, dirt, or a cloth to smother the fire. Use sand to drench the fire if you’re close enough to reach it. Or use dirt or other materials that aren’t combustible when they come in contact with fire.
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How To Put Out A Grease Fire On A Grill
Grease can occasionally accumulate in the firebox chamber near the burners. That may diminish the grill’s efficiency while also increasing the chance of a hazardous grill fire starting. Though most grill designs allow hot grease to drain into a disposal pan, it can occasionally collect in large amounts and possibly cause a fire.
If that occurs, turn the grill off and leave the cover open so that the leftover grease stops burning. Also, make sure to oil the food and not the grill grates for grilling.
How To Prevent Grease Fires On A Gas Grill
Grill fires can start via extreme weather, gas leaks, grease, or other causes. But irrespective of the reason, it’s essential to learn how to avoid them altogether. You should know these safety tips when using a grill to prevent any fires:
- Always check the gas pipes for leaks before starting the grill.
- Keep the grill at a distance from everything that can catch fire. These can include houses, tents, sheds, or other combustible structures.
- You can’t leave your grill unattended while cooking, especially if you have kids or pets running around. Keep them no less than three feet away from your grill.
- Ensure enough ventilation if you’re using your grill indoors or in an enclosed space so that toxic gasses don’t stay inside.
- Use the grill cover to minimize collecting ashes and retaining heat in the coals.
- When using oil, butter, or pastes, always use cooking utensils such as long forceps or spatulas. That can prevent them from falling on an open fire and combusting.
- Try and look out for any hot spots in the grill that could give you an idea of where there could be an excess collection of grease or coal. These can increase the risk of combustion.
- Don’t grill near combustible materials while smoking or under the influence.
- Have a fire extinguisher close by so that you can handle any fires in an emergency quickly.
- Take good care of your grill and clean it frequently.
Should You Use Water On A Grill Fire?
I wouldn’t recommend using water to put out a fire on your grill. If you suddenly pour water on a burning grill, it can burn because of the abrupt production of steam and ashes in the grill. Dispensing water on a grill fire can also make the grill crack, making it unusable.
Another drawback of watering your grill is the clutter! Watering the coal ash creates a sticky, gooey muck that’s hard to clean. So, avoid pouring water on your charcoal briquettes while cooking. A water spray is a better way to handle a grease fire. The water droplets provide better control to cool the fire without causing any heat, steam, or ash release.
Should You Utilize Baking Soda On A Grill Fire?
Yes, baking soda is an excellent option to put out a grill fire and one of the most common ways to extinguish fires. It neutralizes the acids in flames, which kills the fire. That’s why it’s helpful to keep some boxes of baking soda in your kitchen cabinets. Baking soda is safe and affordable, and you can get it from the laundry section, usually next to the detergents.
Can You Use Flour On A Grease Fire?
Flour cannot put out a grease fire since it can’t absorb the oil on the pan, food, or stovetop surfaces.
Baking soda is a better option since it puts out grill fires by smothering the flames and absorbing oil simultaneously. It can also put out an open fire that spills onto the oven and scorches some of your kitchen utensils. If there’s no baking soda nearby, you can try using salt instead to put out the grill fire.
Grill fires can be hazardous, even if they start pretty small. The ideal way to put out grill fires is to prevent them from using the earlier precautions. Also, make sure that you pay attention while grilling! Proper focus can go a long way to making your BBQ a successful experience.