Before you don your hilarious novelty apron and fire up your barbecue, you need to first make sure that you and those you’re travelling with are safe from the heat and gas. Whether you’re a barbecue novice or an expert in all things rotisseries, charcoal grills and smokers, you should always pay attention to safety.
If you’re using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to power your barbecue, there are many safety considerations concerning your gas cylinder. Before use, make sure it is not damaged and that it has been professionally tested for safety within the last 10 years. Check that the rubber seal, or ‘o-ring’, that connects the gas cylinder with the barbecue is not broken, rusty or cracked.
LPG cylinders should always be stored in an upright position and in a well-ventilated, cool space, away from any naked flames. Never leave the cylinder hanging by its hose, and ensure that it is never so severely bent as to reduce gas flow. When connecting or disconnecting your barbecue, shut off the cylinder’s valve as firmly as possible.
Take special care when using barbecues that are powered by solid fuels, such as heat beads or woodchips. When lighting the barbecue, you should use these fuels sparingly, as it is much easier to add than to remove hot fuel. Never use petrol, kerosene or any other flammable liquid to help start the barbecue, as this can be extremely dangerous. And while thongs may be your preferred summer footwear, you should always wear closed-toe shoes around solid-fuel barbecues, and gloves for extra protection.
If you’re lucky enough to have a barbecue attached to your caravan, or are planning on having one installed, there are some special safety considerations to keep in mind. Wherever the barbecue is installed, there should be sufficient ventilation, so annexes are inappropriate. When attaching barbecues, such as slide-out models, to the caravan, they should also be positioned well away from electrical wiring or plumbing. Fixed barbecues should also be fitted by a certified plumber or gasfitter to ensure utmost safety.