BBQ Safety – Your Ultimate Guide

As the days get longer and the temperature starts to rise, it’s time to start thinking about al fresco dining. But before you fire up the BBQ it’s important to make sure that you can do this safely. By taking a few simple precautions, you can ensure that your BBQs remain fun and accident-free. So, let’s dive into some essential BBQ safety tips to keep your flames high and the risks low!

Location, Location, Location

  • One of the main considerations in BBQ safety is choosing a location for your BBQ which is at least 3 metres away from any furniture, structures or combustible materials.
  • Make sure the area is well-ventilated and keep children and pets at a safe distance.  Educate children about the potential dangers of a hot grill and establish clear boundaries to ensure their safety.
  • Ensure that the BBQ is placed on a level surface to prevent tipping over.


Before each BBQ, make sure to clean your grill thoroughly.

Remove grease buildup from the grates and trays to prevent flare-ups and reduce the risk of fire. Regular maintenance will not only enhance the safety of your grill but also improve its performance and longevity.

Fire Up Those Flames!

If you’re using a charcoal BBQ be sure to follow proper lighting methods.

Avoid using lighter fluid once the coals are lit as this can cause sudden flare-ups. Instead, use charcoal chimney starters or electric starters for a safer and more controlled ignition. For gas grills, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lighting and ignition.

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Be Alert

Never leave your BBQ unattended while it’s in use.

Flare-ups can happen suddenly, so have a spray bottle of water, a fire extinguisher, or a bucket of sand nearby to quickly extinguish any small fires that may arise.

Keep flammable materials such as lighter fluid, gasoline, and other combustible substances away from the grill. Store them in a safe location, preferably in a cool and well-ventilated area.

Food Safety

For best results be sure to let your BBQ fire up fully.  Let the coals heat up for at least 10-15 minutes before attempting to cook any food.

Avoid food poisoning by following good hygiene practices.  The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention advise as follows: 

BBQ Safety tips

1. When shopping for your meat products, pick up meat, chicken and other poultry first.  Any seafood should be picked last to ensure it is kept on ice for the longest time possible.

Do not mix your meat products with other shopping and avoid cross-contamination by packing raw meat and poultry into individual plastic bags.

2. Be sure to keep all meat and seafood in an insulated cooler on the journey home and keep refrigerated until you are ready to use the same.

3. If you need to thaw any food do so in the refrigerator, cold water or microwave to prevent harmful germs from breeding.

4. Always marinate food in the refrigerator.

5. Wash your hands with soap before and after handling raw meat, poultry and seafood.  Clean work surfaces thoroughly before cooking.

6. Make sure you clean the grill surface before cooking. If you use a wire bristle brush to clean, be sure to check the grills for any bristles.  This can become dislodged and stick to the food you are cooking!

7. Throw out any marinades or sauces that have touched raw meat juice.

8. Use clean utensils and a clean plate to transfer cooked meat to the table.  NEVER place cooked meat back onto a plate that has held raw meat.

9. Use a food thermometer to make sure that the food has been cooked to a temperature which kills harmful germs.

10 Store any leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking (or within 1 hour if the outside temperature is above 30℃.

Cool Down

Once your BBQ is over, make sure to turn off the burners if using gas or properly extinguish the coals.

A Safe BBQ Is Happy BBQ

Remember, BBQ cooking safety should never be overlooked. By following these guidelines you can enjoy the amazing flavours of BBQ cooking while keeping your loved ones and property safe. So, fire up those grills and have a memorable BBQ season

Check out our food and drink section for some great BBQ accompaniment ideas.

Summer is coming! Read our summer-related articles:

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