Planning A Work BBQ? Outdoor Grilling Safety Tips

People enjoying an office barbecue outside in a party atmosphere.
| 08.08.22
Susan G.

With employee retention at center stage, your small business may be considering ways to increase employee happiness. A work barbecue can help, plus you can show off your skills as a grill master! We have some tips to keep your summer bbq safe so everyone can enjoy it. July is the peak month for grill fires, followed by June, May, and August. So let’s keep safety top of mind with these tips.

Summer Grilling Safety Tips For Small Businesses

  1. Choose a safe spot for your grill. An outdoor space is a must—a garage or other covered area does not count! Grills are designed to need ventilation. FEMA says to keep it at least 3 feet away from siding, railing, and eaves. Keep your office grill on a flat and level surface.
  2. Give your grill a 3-foot zone. Especially if you are inviting employees to bring their families with small children or have office dogs, you’ll want to dedicate a 3-foot zone to the grill.
  3. Check your grill for gas leaks. Before using your grill for the first time in a season, check the gas line for leaks. The vast majority of bbq-related fires stem from gas leaks. Propane and natural gas both have additives to give them distinctive smells. If you smell gas, call the fire department and back away. A way to check for leaks you may not smell is to use soapy water. Do not light the grill, smoke near it, or have open flames. With a full fuel tank and the tank valve in the on position, brush soapy water over the hoses and connections. Watch for bubbles to form. Bubbles mean you have a leak. Turn off the gas and disconnect the fuel line. Tighten any loose connections and replace any cracked or worn parts. 
  4. Clean your grill. This step should be performed after every grill use and at the start of the grilling season. Any grease build-up presents a fire risk. Use a grill brush to clean the grill plates and tray, and always empty the grease tray after use.
  5. Open your gas grill before lighting. This tip comes from FEMA! Gas can build up under the lid and needs to be dispersed before lighting the grill.
  6. Don’t walk away from a lit grill. Have someone assigned to attend to the grill the whole time it is lit. This is an excellent assignment for business owners or management-level employees to help visibly serve the employees during this event.
  7. Avoid wearing loose clothing. Anyone attending the grill should be careful to avoid wearing clothing that could dangle and catch fire. This includes loose sleeves and fashion scarves.
  8. Safely re-light a flame. If the flame goes out on your gas grill, turn off the grill and the gas. Wait five minutes and then re-light the flame.
  9. Have the right fire extinguisher ready. For grease fires, you will want to have baking soda on hand to smother the flames. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
  10. Stay safe when using a charcoal grill. You'll need to consider some additional safety precautions if you want the authentic charcoal flavor for your office event. Only use designated charcoal starter fluid or a chimney starter. And place the used coals from your charcoal grill in a metal can with a lid once they have cooled.

We hope these barbeque safety tips come in handy as you plan summer fun activities to lift your employees’ spirits. An office bbq is a popular way to break up summer monotony and reward hard work! Make sure you also have the right small business insurance in place to help protect your business in the event of a fire. And have fun!

About the Author

B2Z Insurance is a small business insurance company that provides coverage for on-the-go business owners: simple explanations, easy application, digital quotes, and mobile claims. A product that is easy-to-use and helps you assess the unique coverage needs of your business with confidence—freeing you up to grow your business.