BBQ security: your BBQ safety checklist

Posted July 6th, 2023 by SimpliSafe

Before you spark up the grill this summer, be sure to read our BBQ security tips. Find a complete BBQ safety checklist to keep your home and guests safe.

Nothing beats a fun BBQ with all of your family and friends gathered around a selection of mouth-watering, freshly grilled food. But as with any activity taking place in your backyard, there are some important considerations for BBQ security and keeping your loved ones safe. In this article, we discuss how to safely host a BBQ, how to put out a BBQ and tips for keeping your BBQ safe when it’s not in use.

BBQ security - what are the security risks?

Although summer BBQs are filled with joy and good times, it’s always important to be aware of the security risks that could put a damper on your special occasion. We name the two biggest BBQ security threats and how you can prevent them.

1. Sneak-in burglaries

Whilst you enjoy the sun and amazing atmosphere in your backyard, the front and sides of your home may become susceptible to opportunistic burglars. Just because you are on your property, this doesn’t mean that your home is secure. Make sure valuables aren’t easily spotted or left close to open windows and keep checking indoors regularly during your outdoor parties. Use window locks so they can only open to a certain position, and if it’s not too hot indoors, keep them closed when you can.

An Entry Sensor can provide some extra peace of mind during your BBQ, alerting you straight away if someone attempts a break-in. Additionally, if you know everyone will be outside during the BBQ, consider activating your Motion Sensor to alert you instantly if someone is inside the house.

2. BBQ theft

Unfortunately, you still need to be aware of theft even when you have packed your BBQ away and headed in for the night. BBQ grills are a very attractive target for burglars, so you need to ensure that your BBQ is safely stored and protected. If you have a shed or garage, try to pack your BBQ away behind a locked door. Use a Glassbreak Sensor on sheds with windows, as this will immediately trigger an alarm if your windows are broken into by someone looking to get their hands on your grill.

Not everyone has a safe space to keep their BBQs outdoors. If this is the case, you want to implement as many burglar deterrents as possible. Have an Outdoor Security Camera clearly on display to let burglars know they’re being watched, as well as to help police find the culprit. You can also display a SimpliSafe Yard Sign to emphasise the security of your property. 

BBQ safety checklist

So, now you know how to keep your home secure during a BBQ. But what else can you do to further the safety of everyone during a home BBQ? Continue reading for our BBQ safety checklist.

1. Place the grill in an open space

BBQ grills get very hot and run the risk of setting nearby items alight. Consider if there are any flammable structures or furniture that need to be kept at a safe distance from the BBQ, and ensure the BBQ is placed in a wide, open space. We know how unpredictable the British weather can be, with rainy showers even in the height of summer. However, it’s not safe to BBQ under a shelter or in an enclosed space, so you will need to pause your BBQ until the skies clear up.

2. Use a clean grill

Maintenance is essential to BBQ safety, so it’s important to clean your grill frequently in between BBQ sessions. This means using a high-quality grill brush to clean and scrub any charcoal or grime before and after the use of the grill. Remove any build-up of ash, charcoal, oil and grime from trays, and check them as you’re grilling. Always refer to your grill’s instruction manual for guidance.

3. Place the grill in a stable position

If a grill ends up toppling over, it could end in catastrophe - especially if no one is around. It is essential that your grill is placed on a flat, strong surface that will keep the grill stable throughout all sorts of conditions. 

4. Wear suitable clothing

If you own a cheesy BBQ apron, it’s your time to shine. The right clothing will protect you whilst grilling, so it’s important you dress properly. Roll up your sleeves and tuck in shirts - an apron comes in handy here to keep loose clothing away from the open grill, as well as protect your skin from any small burns. If you have long hair, tie it up and don’t get too close to the BBQ.

5. Have a fire extinguisher nearby

Something that’s often overlooked when following a BBQ safety checklist is having a fire extinguisher nearby. This may seem overkill, but if worst comes to worst, you will need something to put out any growing flames before they get out of control. A responsible adult will need to know how to use the fire extinguisher just in case. Remember, even a tiny BBQ can lead to a destructive scenario if not properly maintained or supervised.

6. Keep children and pets away

If there are going to be children at your BBQ, it’s essential to give them a serious safety talk before you light the grill. Make it clear that they are not to come near the grill whatsoever and reiterate the dangers of getting too close to the BBQ grill. 

If you have curious cats that like to wander and jump up onto surfaces, have a watchful eye or keep them inside with a litter box for the time being. Dogs or puppies that are very excitable should be minded closely and never left unattended. It may be best for pets to stay inside or on a leash whilst you grill, and then they can come out and play once the grill is cooled down.

7. Encourage guests to keep their distance from the grill

Even the most responsible of adults can suffer burns and accidents due to a BBQ. So, everyone aside from the designated griller(s) should not be near the grill. To encourage this, place your seating and tables at a safe distance from the BBQ. This means that guests will not have any reason to come close to the grill, allowing you to cook in peace and keep everyone safe.

How to put out a BBQ safely

BBQs pose the biggest safety risk when left unattended, and this often happens when grillers think they have extinguished the flames but actually haven’t. To put out a charcoal BBQ grill, simply close the lid, depriving the flames of oxygen. If your BBQ has any vents, be sure to close these too. Leave your BBQ to cool for at least 48 hours before cleaning it out. 

How to put out a BBQ in an emergency

As we mentioned in our BBQ safety checklist, a fire extinguisher is essential to have on hand during your BBQ. In the case of an emergency, this is the only method of safely putting out flames. Avoid using water at all costs, as this could create huge amounts of very hot steam, injuring you and others. Plus, pouring water on a hot grill can cause cracks, meaning your grill could become unfit for use the next time you want to host a BBQ. 

With the right BBQ security and safety measures in place, you are free to enjoy your delicious food without worrying about your guests and property. For more advice on keeping yourself and your home safe, get in touch with SimpliSafe.