The first Labor Day celebration in America was initiated by the Central Labor Union in 1882, although it remains unclear as to who proposed it. Most historians credit Peter McGuire, then general-secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. He came up with the idea of a day when workers could show solidarity in their ranks. Others claim it was Matthew Maguire, secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists based in Paterson, N.J, who first thought of celebrating Labor Day.
Why We Celebrate Labor Day
Originally, Labor Day was celebrated in a street parade to display the camaraderie among trade and labor groups. It would be followed by a picnic for workers and their families. Presently, however, the holiday is less about working people and more about celebrating summer’s end. With that said, most people would spend Labor Day taking one last trip to the beach or hosting a cookout in their homes before the season gets cold.
If you’re thinking about hosting a barbecue at home, you should always observe due diligence and make sure you follow these barbecue safety tips.
Barbecue Fires and Labor Day
Labor Day often marks the end of summer, and half of all grill owners said they usually grill to celebrate this holiday. Over the past five years, however, more than 8,000 calls have been received by the fire department, and over 400 of these concern fires related to outdoor cooking or grilling.
Additionally, nearly 9,000 home fires happen yearly due to barbecue grills, with about 17,000 people treated in emergency rooms for barbecue-related injuries in 2012 alone. Given these facts, the State Fire Marshal’s Office said residents should take protective measures to ensure that their Labor Day grilling activities are safe and clean, not only on Labor Day weekend but each time they host a cookout party.
Barbecue Safety Tips on Labor Day
Grill fires can quickly become out of control and cause severe property damage, injury, and even death. The following summer barbecue safety tips should be considered for a fun and successful cookout party:
1. Follow Instructions
When using your grill, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, especially when setting this up. Grills should never be used for something other than what they’re intended for.
2. Be Protected
All barbecue safety tips would definitely recommend wearing protective clothing, including a mask. Loose sleeves should be rolled up, so this will not come into contact with a hot grill and possibly ignite. Meanwhile, exposed skin could get burned by hot coals and grease, particularly if these are not adequately covered.
3. Stay Outside
A grill should never be used indoors or in an enclosed space, regardless of the type. Ideally, this should be placed in an open area of the home, 10 feet away from the nearest tree or large plants. A grill placed too close to anything flammable is a fire hazard.
4. Watch the Children
When your grill is lit, ensure that little children are kept from the area for at least three feet. Many bbq safety tips also advise that pets should be watched as well because they could get attracted by the aroma of your grilled food. In short, never leave the grill unattended at any given time because accidents often occur when no one is watching.
5. Spare the Lighter
If you have a charcoal-based grill, use a charcoal starter fluid and never a lighter. If you do, it could lead to a flare-up that can quickly get out of control. When you’re done grilling, ensure that the coals have completely cooled before disposing of them.
6. Check the Hose
Some other barbecue safety tips involve the use of a propane grill. In this case, the tank hose should first be checked thoroughly for any possible leaks. Meanwhile, if you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill and call your local emergency number immediately.
7. Use a Pan
To catch any grease or ash that falls from the grill, it’s a good barbecue safety advice to place a fireproof pan underneath it. Both materials are hot and could spark if they come into contact with your lawn grass or any piece of paper.
8. Use Grilling Tools
A thermal burn is the most common injury involving grills. Thus, you should never reach out for grilled food with your bare hands as they could get caught by the flames. It’s best to use long-handled grilling knives, tongs, and other equipment for safety reasons.
9. Check the Grill
Place your grill on a stable, level surface about three feet away from the house deck and fence. Grills that tend to tip to one side can cause serious injuries. After using them, clean the grills by removing grease and fat because these can still be fire risks.
Barbecue cookouts are said to be the most popular activity on Labor Day weekend. It is because the day is the last great holiday before summer ends. After that, the cold season comes in and people become busy with work even as they try to keep themselves warm.
Even as fun and excitement fill the air on Labor Day, safety should still be a priority. Barbecue grilling is undoubtedly a great way to celebrate the day, but the activity has its share of risks, notably accidental fires. It is not uncommon since grilling often involves dealing with open flames, which could break out into a full-blown conflagration if left unattended. Thus, barbecue safety tips should be followed to prevent this from happening. Otherwise, your home could end up having extensive damage that may require restoration work.
Deep Water Emergency Services & Restoration is the expert in fire damage restoration on Labor Day.
Sometimes, disasters and accidents happen even on national holidays like Labor Day. Though, there’s no need to worry because Deep Water Emergency Services & Restoration is aware that these things happen. The good news is that we are always prepared to deal with them.
Contact us if you suffered fire damage from grilling issues on Labor Day. Our team of experts in fire damage restoration in Colorado Springs knows what to do and will come right over to help you, including sharing a few Labor Day barbecue ideas. Call us now.