Barbecue season - shooting flames and petrol bombs
>>> Observing safety tips when barbecuing protects against burn injuries >>> Use only approved firelighters >>> Stand portable barbecues on an even surface and watch out for stable and robust construction
Munich. As soon as temperatures rise above 15 degrees, barbecue smoke begins to ascend from gardens, allotments, river banks, parks and campsites. Every year, however, barbecues also go hand in hand with an increasing number of turnouts by fire brigades and ambulances. Incidents caused by carelessness range from singed hair to burnt-out summerhouses and serious burn injuries. To avoid unpleasant incidents during barbecuing, you should heed a few safety rules. TÜV Product Service, TÜV SÜD Group, provides safety tips for outdoor cooking:
Stability is critical
Smoke is a reason why charcoal barbecues should only be operated outdoors. When buying a commercial quality barbecue, look for robust legs and check that your barbecue does not have sharp metal parts or edges which could cause injury. Consumers should also look for the GS mark of TÜV Product Service or the blue TÜV Octagon. Barbecues thus distinguished have been comprehensively tested for safety.
Height-adjustable racks to regulate heat during roasting and avoid burning food are definitely sensible features. Another good idea is to choose grill racks with grooved fat drip trays preventing fat from dripping onto the charcoal and forming toxins. In conventional models aluminium trays can be used for this purpose.
Leave petrol well alone!
Only charcoal or charcoal briquettes should be used for barbecuing. Pine cones, high-resin wood, packaging or paper are unsuitable. Thick smoke which may contain carcinogens builds up when these materials are burnt. Who would want to grill a steak with smoke like that?
Serious accidents are frequently caused by carelessness in using barbecue firelighter substances. Petrol should never be used to light the fire! It evaporates to cause a highly explosive mixture which spreads over the barbecue like a blanket. As soon as you try to light the barbecue, this mixture will blow up in a low-grade explosion. This ball of fire may even turn the petrol can into a fire bomb. Good reasons to rely on approved barbecue lighters. Consumers should look out for the GS mark of TÜV Product Service or the TÜV Mark. Lighters thus identified boast good burning characteristics and are harmless when used according to the instructions.
Barbecue fans should never try to move the barbecue while it is hot or even fully loaded. Burn injuries can be caused within the blink of an eye. Select the place for a barbecue carefully, so that the smoke will not disturb anybody.
When using an coated barbecue for the first time, leave the charcoal red-hot for at least half an hour before placing food on the rack. This causes the toxins to burn out of the enamel and eliminates all harmful emissions before your delicacies are barbecued.
A few tricks to get charcoal red hot:
· Place your barbecue on an even surface sheltered from the wind.
· Use quality-approved charcoal.
· Pile up charcoal or charcoal briquettes in your barbecue to form a pyramid and distribute barbecue firelighters.
· Use extra-long matches - never use a lighter because of the fire risk - to light the firelighters.
· To get the charcoal red hot faster, add air. You can do this by using bellows or a firm piece of cardboard as a fan. Using a hair drier is not recommended because this results in excessive flying sparks.
· Once the charcoal is lit, carefully spread the pyramid out until you have an even bed of red-hot charcoal.
· Let the charcoal glow until it is covered by a layer of white ash. Do not set the rack on the barbecue before this stage