4 Tips for Keeping Your Backyard Barbecue Party Safe

Who doesn’t love the smell of smoked salmon, grilled hamburgers, and grilled veggies? It’s a pleasant smell that permeates the neighborhood. If you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, your neighbors definitely know what’s going on. Hopefully, you have cool neighbors you can invite to your BBQ – the more the merrier.

Although backyard barbecues are fun, there are several potential risks to manage in order to keep your party safe.

The potential for fights

Every party has the potential to turn into some kind of dramatic brawl. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen, but it might.

Designate a bartender and limit alcohol to a certain number of drinks per person. Don’t let anyone drink more than a couple of hours before the party ends if they’re driving home. Also, don’t allow people to bring guests you’ve never met.

If you do allow people you’ve never met, have a plan to remove them from your property if necessary. Hopefully, you won’t need to use or brandish a firearm, but if you have a concealed carry permit, you should carry it during your barbecue just in case. If you’re worried about sweating from an extra layer of clothing or holster in the summer heat, try wearing clothes designed for concealed carry.

The potential for fires

Hosting a barbecue party always carries the potential for fires. A fire could start from BBQ embers or an entirely different source. For example, if your guests have kids, they might start a fire using a magnifying glass, or someone might get too close to the bonfire and catch themselves on fire.

You really can’t predict when a random fire will break out during a gathering. Make sure you have a good ABC fire extinguisher on hand at all times ready to use just in case.

Unintended explosions

Nobody really expects to experience an explosion during a backyard barbecue, but it does happen. Usually, it’s because of an oversight and not an intentional act. For example, fire pits made with a concrete base have been known to explode. Fire pits made with concrete walls also unexpectedly explode.

Unfortunately, many people believe that concrete explosions are only a myth because it hasn’t happened to them. In truth, those people have just been lucky. Concrete will explode at high enough temperatures, and those temperatures are possible to achieve with a simple bonfire.

How to prevent unintended fire pit explosions

To be safe, only use fire pits made out of metal. Both brick and concrete can explode. However, exploding concrete isn’t the only type of explosion to watch out for.

Another type of unexpected explosion you might experience during a backyard barbecue is a BLEVE. A BLEVE is a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion. Sometimes people toss small camping-sized propane canisters onto a bonfire without thinking about the consequences. When that happens, if the fire is hot enough to build pressure faster than the safety valve can release, the canister will explode.

How to prevent accidental BLEVEs

To prevent unintended BLEVEs, make sure you keep any propane cylinders away from where people are gathered. Don’t make it easy for someone to make a stupid split-second decision to toss a canister into the fire.

Don’t feed barbecued salmon to your dogs

This is a safety tip for dog owners. Salmon skin can be highly toxic to dogs; ingesting even a little bit can kill your dog. Unfortunately, even if you know this, your guests might not. They might be tempted to sneak your pup a little snack off their plate. If the salmon skin has been thoroughly cooked, it’s probably okay. However, raw and undercooked salmon can contain a parasite called Neorickettsia helminthoeca. This parasite can cause a fatal disease for your dog.

If you’re going to barbecue salmon, make sure everyone knows the skin can be toxic to dogs, and they are not to feed any salmon to your dogs. If you want to feed your dogs salmon that has been thoroughly cooked and carefully separated from the skin, that should be entirely your choice.

Backyard barbecues can be fun and safe at the same time

You don’t have to be the safety police ruining everyone’s fun just to make your backyard BBQ party secure. Just be aware of the potential risks and do what you can to prevent potential issues. Just be ready to handle whatever arises. Nobody has to know that you’ve thought about safety beforehand.

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