Nothing screams summer like the sweet, smoky smell of a charcoal grill fired up in the backyard. The aroma of fresh grilled meat, steamed sweet corn and a skewer of veggies are all enough to get our mouth watering just reading this.
While we all love this classic, hot weather activity, we also need to understand how to do it safely, especially in a housing cooperative setting. The following tips are set in place by management and recommended by local fire authorities to ensure you grill smart and safe inside the Ash Street Cooperative Community!
Never Leave a Grill Unattended
It doesn't matter if it's for one second while you run in the house to grab the tongs, or 10 minutes as you wait for the charcoal to get hot, leaving the grill unattended is a bad idea and against ground rules. Children are fast, so fast in fact, that in the short time it takes you to go inside, they could easily explore what that round, shiny, black contraption is and potentially hurt themselves. Or, a gust of wind could come along and tip the grill over, exposing hot charcoals to the area. Always be sure to gather all your supplies before getting started, and set up a chair so you always maintain a front row seat to your hot grill!
Never Grill on Balconies, Porches or Close to Your Co-op
Sparks can fly with a simple opening of the grill lid and/or the heat radiating from the grill can create a fire hazard for the building. Always move your grill away from the building, off your porch and onto a level, heat-safe surface for maximum safety. Do not grill near walkways, high traffic areas or on unsteady ground. Make sure you keep all items at least 6 feet from around the grill and never keep the fuel and the grill in the same space.
Only Use Supplies Designed For Grilling
You never want to toss just anything in the grill that burns to create the fire. Newspapers, cardboard, tissue paper and treated wood can create unstable flame conditions. Only use store-bought charcoal and wood designed for grilling. In addition, make sure the utensils you use are grilling utensils. A kitchen fork doesn't provide enough space between your hand and the fire for you to stay safe. Kitchen tongs can have silicone or rubber on them that may not be able to withstand the intense heat given off from grilling. Purchase a set of grilling utensils and save those fingers from the fire! Finally, never create a grill yourself using scrap materials. Purchase an actual grill that has been tested and approved for safe fire containment.
Carefully Dispose of Charcoal After It's Cooled
Hot coals are a serious fire hazard! After grilling, carefully move your grill to a safe location until the hot coals are completely cooled. Then, we recommend dumping them into an empty metal coffee can or tin can, with a lid, and tossing them into the trash. Again, make sure they are 1000% cooled, with absolutely no heat being given off. Ideally, you would toss them in an outdoor trash with a lid to keep the ash in as well.
While the above tips don't cover all tips provided by fire authorities on grill safety, it sure is enough to make sure you and your neighbors enjoy fun in the sun grilling at Ash Street Cooperative. When you're ready to enjoy the benefits of home ownership without the hassle of major maintenance, give Ash Street a call.