1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

***Grilling Smoking & Fire Safety Tips***

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by fwismoker, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    I'm sure there's lots of these threads on here somewhere but it's always worth mentioning especially coming into grilling season.    Please share any tips you have as well as stories or pictures that pertain to the topic. 

    While we're grilling or smoking for our family and friends safety should be a primary concern.   Whether you use an electric, charcoal or wood fire in your cooker all the elements are there to ruin your weekend or cause serious damage to property or lives. 

    Elements needed for a fire:  Take away pieces from the pyramid and you can't have fire

    1) Fuel

    2) Heat

    3) Oxygen

    Common sense tips if you have a fire. 

    If you have an electric smoker- Pull the plug and close the lid/doors. Seal up the cooker and deprive the fire of oxygen

    Propane cookers- Turn off the knobs and close off the valves to your tank.  Seal up your cooker and deprive it of oxygen. 

    Charcoal or wood burners- There's no luxury of killing the fuel so you gotta kill the oxygen supply.  Close the doors, intakes and exhaust.   

    Must do's and haves.   

    1) Do keep a charged fire extinguisher near your cooking equipment

    2) Do not leave smokers or grills unattended- where there's smoke there IS FIRE!  I know many of you love your automatic temp controllers but they won't automatically put out your fire if you have one!

    3) Keep a welding blank nearby- This could be used to smother your fire 

    4) Keep your cooker a safe distance away from other flamables...i.e your house or garage. 

    5) ***Use caution when your cook produces lots of grease***   

    6) Keep welding gloves close by in case you need to pull burning food out or close the cookers lids/doors as to not burn yourself. 

    Since we're dealing with animal fats flammable grease is our primary concern.   Let's talk more prevention.

    1) Clean the grease/gunk build up in the bottom of your cooker.  I'm not saying you have to clean it with soap and water but at least scrape out the heavy stuff. It will just add fuel to your fire. 

    2) Double pan your drippings pan if you use one...especially foil pans.   A pin hole leak dripping on your heat source can lead to a fire.   

    3)  Use sturdy drip pans. Foil can bend and spill grease so be careful or use heavy duty foil pans.  The last thing you want is to spill or have your greasy drippings spill over your electric/propane burner or wood/charcoal fire.

    Let's not have this happen.  Stay safe and grill safely this Summer!!!

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
    sauced likes this.
  2. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great post and great info.

    I would like to add that kids and pets can get curious about the cooking instruments, so keep a close eye on them as well.
  3. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I would be curious what the percentage is of folks that BBQ, smoke or otherwise cook on their deck- wood, composite, or otherwise combustible material. How many will admit to burn marks from embers on their decks or anything else around?
  4. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    No ashes in the garbage can unless they've been thoroughly soaked. Don't use water to put out a grease fire.

    When I started smoking I used your basic charcoal fueled Brinkman. Because it was on a wooden deck, I had it sitting on a drip pan. One morning I went outside and found the smoker laying on it's side and multiple burn holes through the deck, one had even started working on the joist it was sitting on. My lab had knocked it over the night before because well, she was a lab and it smelled like food. After that, the charcoal pan was Soaked down when the smoking was done.
  5. sauced

    sauced Master of the Pit

    Excellent reminder!!!

    Points for trying to keep us all safe!   [​IMG]
  6. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Living in the city Vinyl Fences all around,I built a fire wall by my gas grill.It came in handy back in Jan. 2015

    The fire was in my neighbors shed I had 3 propane tanks by that grill


    Anyone using a Turkey Fryer Wrap aluminum foil around the hose

    fwismoker likes this.
  7. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm not following this Richie. Are you meaning to protect the GAS hose from the tank to the propane burner from drips of oil or something more catastrophic?
  8. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yes the foil will help shield the hose 
  9. chilerelleno

    chilerelleno Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nothing like good advice and pretty pictures to help remind of us to be aware.
  10. amlong88

    amlong88 Meat Mopper

    Very good topic to bring up.
  11. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    "---1) Do keep a charged fire extinguisher near your cooking equipment----"

    There are different fire extinguisher types for different kinds of fire.

  12. ryanmn

    ryanmn Fire Starter

    Would have been nice if you posted this before I started a grease fire a few days ago which destroyed the 40lbs of pork shoulder I was cooking for 30 people...
  13. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Ouch!  Glad it it was only the meat that got hurt.  (yes that stinks!)    Tell us what happened in your case to cause the fire and how could you have prevented it.   
  14. ryanmn

    ryanmn Fire Starter

    I use a Masterbuilt propane smoker, and my first mistske was I overloaded it. Although there are 4 racks, each large enough to hold a single shoulder, it was too much meat. In order to keep the temp at 250 I had the burner on high rather than medium which is more than sufficient to heat the cooker to 250 with one shoulder. The large quantity of meat meant way more fat and grease drippings, which was more than the drip pan could contain and the excess spilled near the flame which was higher than usual. Excess grease + excess flame = bad combination. Also didn't help I probably didn't have the inside as clean as it should be, grease was on the sides. Anyways, lesson learned is keep a cleaner smoker and don't over load
  15. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    My recommendation for our situation would be a CO2 extinguisher.
  16. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Grease in contact with any type of flame would ignite.  You'll never have it overloaded ad much again but definitely keep a deeper drippings catcher than you might ever need. 

    Thanks for sharing. Your story might save someone else some damage and heartache!
  17. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    An ABC extinguisher is the most common and would be good for most peoples needs.

    A) Paper, wood, plastic etc...

    B) Gas, oil, grease etc...

    C) Electrical
  18. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The only downside with an ABC extinguisher is that the powder is designed to stick and coat. Cleanup is a pain in the rear. I've had to shut down commercial kitchens that were closed for days because the fire was extinguished with dry chem. If that's what you have available, what you can afford, and have the space for, go for it. It's absolutely better than nothing. If you can swing a 5# carbon dioxide extinguisher, it will remove the oxygen and cool down the fuel without creating the mess. If it's an electrical fire, unplug the unit and it ceases being an electrical fire.

    In the end, purchase what you're comfortable with, but make sure you have something.
  19. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    That is true they are messy.   My first concern would be stopping the fire.   There's some cans on Amazon called TUNDRA.  I wonder if those make a mess...they're aerosol cans
  20. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Well would you look at that. I just ordered a pair on Amazon for $25. These are made for incipient stage fires, so I would still have a backup extinguisher that could handle something larger.