With the warmer temperatures now arriving, it's the "unofficial" start of summer in Canada. Many of you will want to start up the BBQ and get grilling on your apartment balcony or patio.
According to the City of Toronto Fire Code, there are no restrictions on balcony barbecues. There are, however, guidelines regarding outdoor propane and natural gas tanks, under the Ontario Propane and Natural Gas Codes, which must be followed. It is also important to note that if the building owner restricts the use of barbecues on balconies, either the lease agreement or the corporation bylaws, the tenant must abide by those restrictions.
That being said, if a BBQ IS allowed according to your lease agreement, there are some important safety tips you should follow:
- Keep children and pets far away from a hot grill, and never leave them unsupervised in the area of an ignited barbecue.
- Never use wood, charcoal briquettes, barbecue starter fluid or gasoline in conjunction with your propane or natural gas barbecue. Doing so is likely to result in a highly flammable and volatile situation that may cause extensive damage to your property, personal injury or loss of life.
- Barbecue in an open outdoor space due to ventilation and safety reasons. Keep the barbecue at least 3 metres from windows and doors.
- Keep the barbecue away from wooden fences, wooden walls, combustible overhead roofs, and from trees with low branches.
- Don't allow an accumulation of grease to occur by keeping your grill and burners clean - this will help to minimize the chances that you will have a serious grease fire.
- Never fight a grease fire with water - this will only cause the flames to flare up. Keep loose clothing away from a hot barbecue - roll up your sleeves or cook in a short sleeved shirt. If your clothing catches on fire, quickly Stop, Drop and Roll.
- Use long handled tongs and brushes while grilling that put an extra bit of distance between you and the flames.
- Wear oven mitts and a heavy apron to protect yourself from fire while grilling.
- If you do burn yourself, run the affected area under cool water for five minutes. If your burn is serious (charring, blistering) seek medical attention right away.
Thank you to the Toronto Fire Services for these reminders!