An American classic, grilling brings joy and the scent of charcoal to spring days and summer nights. Many who live in the Cedarwood Housing Cooperative enjoy the charred flavor of a nicely-grilling piece of meat, but in the interest and safety of all the neighbors, we want to make sure everyone follows the same safety guidelines.
DO NOT GRILL ON OR NEAR PORCHES OR BUILDINGS
It goes without saying that grilling is a dangerous pastime and should be treated with as much caution as driving a vehicle or shooting a rifle. Lives can be lost if proper precautions are not taken to avoid injury or death. A spark or pop from a burning charcoal is fine if their is plenty of space between the grill and anything flammable, but too close and you'll be in trouble!
A good rule of thumb is 10 feet from any building or other burnable item such as a trash can, lawn fixture, tiki torch or utility equipment to prevent fire. In addition, keep grills a safe distance from the porch as the white, plastic material is easily damaged which can also result in fines to the members. Keep in mind however, that grilling is not allowed in common areas, so be sure you are on your property before firing up the grill.
NEVER LEAVE A GRILL UNATTENDED
Prepare all the utensils and food you need before you light the first match or ask a friend or family-member to fetch things for you. Children are naturally curious and gravitate towards things that are smoking or lit up. To avoid this possibility entirely, make sure an adult is watching the grill at all times.
BEWARE OF BRANCHES AND POWER LINES
Branches, just like buildings, can start on fire easily. Choose a location on your property that is free from overhanging tree branches and power lies to reduce the danger of fire. If this is impossible, ask a neighbor if you can set up your grill on their porch, safely away from all dangers and at least 10 feet from any building.
ALWAYS USE A CLEAN GRILL
Always remove old grease and old charcoal from your grill before starting to cook. Leftover grease can catch fire, not to mention taint the flavor of your barbecue masterpiece! As a standard precaution, use a wire brush to clean off the grates and dump out old charcoal before firing up the grill. *Caution - make sure the coals are cold before dumping! Disposing of hot coals could cause a garbage fire.
DO NOT USE OLD, RUSTED GRILLS
Grills with rust patches, holes or broken legs are a danger to use, not to mention an eye-sore for your neighbors and management. While living here at Cedarwood, we strongly recommend trashing grills that look like trash (pardon the boldness). Rust, holes and broken parts can release unwanted burning charcoal to the ground which is a safety hazard. They are also unsightly and unstable. Instead of hanging onto the old weber your dad used to use, use the opportunity to upgrade your grill to a safer model.
NEVER USE GASOLINE!
It goes without saying that gasoline is a bad choice for lighting any kind of fire, but especially a grill fire. Use only charcoal lighter fluid (or a good ol' match) to start your grill, never gasoline. Using gasoline could create a serious "BOOM" you and your neighbor were not expecting. Take fire safety serious and NEVER use gasoline to start your grill.
There you have it! Following these grilling safety tips should prevent a dangerous situation and encourage a safe grilling season all summer long. Now who's ready to fire up the grill?!