Preventing Injuries at a Backyard BBQ - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Preventing Injuries at a Backyard BBQ


There are some hearty souls who refuse to allow the Ontario winter weather to deter them from cooking on their outdoor grills, but the warmer summer weather is when neighbourhoods really come alive with friends and families enjoying backyard barbecues. For safety’s sake, it is important for hosts to be mindful of a few backyard BBQ safety tips to prevent accidents and injuries.

Check the backyard for hazards

It is a good idea to take a walk around the yard before guests arrive to spot and correct any potentially hazardous conditions. Garden tools left out can become tripping hazards, or they can cause injury when in the hands of curious children. Electrical cords should be removed or, if they are needed for such things as lights during the party, relocate it in a place where people will not be walking over them.

Decorations, umbrellas and other combustible materials should not be located anywhere near open flames, including:

  • The barbecue grill
  • Torches
  • Candles
  • Fire pits

Anyone cooking on the grill should not wear loose-fitting clothing that might ignite and cause injuries. A first aid kit should be readily accessible to treat minor burns or injuries, but a phone should be handy during the festivities to call for emergency personnel in case of a fire or serious injury.

Getting the grill ready for use

Hosts should spend a few minutes getting their barbecue grills ready before guests arrive. Here are a few of the things to look for:

  • Spiders and other insects can block gas lines and burners which need to be cleaned out.
  • Use a solution of soapy water to check for gas leaks by spraying it on and looking for bubbles. Tighten or replace loose or damaged hoses and fittings revealed by the inspection.
  • Inspect the gas tank and replace it if there are signs of rust, corrosion and damage.

Propane tanks must be replaced or inspected and recertified for use every 10 years to comply with Canadian laws. The government maintains a list of inspectors with the equipment and qualifications to certify a propane tank as suitable for use.

Exercise caution while grilling

When the guests arrive and it’s time to start cooking, homeowners should make certain their gas or charcoal barbecues are outdoors, on a level surface and away from combustible surfaces or materials before lighting them. Make certain that all children and pets are properly supervised and kept a safe distance from the grill while it is in use and until it cools to the point where its surfaces are safe to touch.

If using lighter fluid with a charcoal grill, only use the fluid before attempting to light the coals. Lighter fluid should never be used once the coals have ignited because doing so could cause serious injuries.

When cooking is done, the tanks on gas grills should be shut off. Charcoal fires should be allowed to die out and cool down on their own without being moved.

Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

Diamond and Diamond has offices located throughout Ontario with experienced personal injury lawyers who are ready to provide legal advice and representation to individuals injured in backyard barbecue accidents. Contact our 24/7 personal injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone about your compensation rights. The consultation and case evaluation are free.

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