Labor Day is often a day where families and friends get together to enjoy a good meal out in the sun. Picnics and backyard BBQ are common during the holiday, but a unwatchful eye or improper cleanup can end the day with bad memories. To prevent fire damage from backyard grill fires or water damage from a day running through the sprinklers, here are some safety tips to keep your home safe this Labor Day.
1. Keep the grill away from flammable objects
If you move your grill away from things such as your home or trees, you can prevent any grill fires that may start from spreading to the house and causing further damage.
2. Keep flammable items away from grill
The reverse is true in that things such as alcohol, that are highly flammable, should be kept away from the grill, so you don’t accidently cause a grill fire. Also, kids and pets, who might not know to keep away from the grill may get curious and attempt to play with it.
3. Don’t leave a grill unattended
You may think you have a good eye on the grill when you are away from it. However, a single moment of inattentiveness can result in sudden flames. If you aren’t at hand, you lower your chances of quickly dealing with the fire before it spreads.
4. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand
If you favor open flame grilling, you should keep a spray bottle or some baking soda on hand that you can use to extinguish flames that are larger than you desire. However, be careful with how you use them as improper use of these items can exasperate flames.
5. Make sure your woodchips or coals are fresh
Before lighting the grill, you should check to see what condition your woodchips or coals are in. If they have been improperly stored, it can result in moldy or unusable fire starters. Always make sure they are fresh to keep spores or other undesirables away from the grill.
6. Make sure any raw meats are kept cool
Meats that are not properly stored can grow bacteria which can result in food poisoning. To prevent this from happening, keep your meats refrigerated or at room temperature for short durations and only remove them to season, marinate, or prep before cooking.
7. Keep mayo based foods cool and seal food
Mayo based foods, such as coleslaw and potato salad, should be kept in coolers or inside if they are not in use. Any perishable food items that are left out should be wrapped or have a cover placed on top to keep flies and outside bacteria from growing on them.
8. Watch for dropped foods
While cleaning up after the party, you will want to make sure that no food has been dropped on the ground and left out of sight. Over time these will rot and develop mold that can travel inside your house or along the outside surface.
9. Keep play contained and away from home
Kids will be kids and play in the sprinklers on hot days as many Labor Days have been. However, if too much moisture becomes trapped beneath or along the sides of your house, it can cause water damage and mold growth. To prevent this, keep the fun away from the house or any other valuable outside items.