Safely Lighting Your Barbecue

Safely Lighting Your Barbecue

Interview with Fireman Derick Foreman

Barbecuing is a fun activity. Preparing good food and eating it together with friends or family. It is fun when everything goes well. Did you know that a lot of accidents happen due to wrongly lighting the charcoal barbecue? Firefighter Derick Foreman has worked in Louisiana for 12 years and will tell us all about it. “Lighting the barbecue with a fluid can be very dangerous.”

BBQ and Fireman Derick Forman
BBQ and Fireman Derick Forman

First day at work

“Being a fireman has been my dream since I was a little child. Twelve years ago my dream became true, I started to volunteer at the local fire station. I never forget my first day at work for the fire department. It was a rainy day. We got a alert of a duplex on fire. A family in the duplex caused the fire. They lit their barbecue pit using lighter fluid inside their front door. This blew up and it burned down both their apartment and their neighbor’s adjacent apartment.”


“Lighting the barbecue with a fluid can be very dangerous. When you are dealing with fluids, you actually ignite the vapors and most people think that you are lighting the fluid itself. You are supposed to lay the charcoal in the pit and then dose the fluids on top of it. Then you are supposed to let it sit there for a couple of minutes and then light it. The problem is, most people light it immediately. When you do that, it is radiating all the fumes that you just put on there. Which will result in an explosion. When you are right over it, it can burn your eyebrow hairs or facial hairs or it can even cause a bigger fire. I have to admit that I unfortunately I’ve done it to myself in the past.”

Prevent dangers

“The best way to prevent the danger is knowing what you are doing. I would highly recommend to follow the safety steps that are on most charcoal bags. Most people tend to ignore these rules, but these are there for a reason.”

Safe alternative

Solid firestarters are a great alternative for liquids. These firestarters are a convenient and safe product. It simplifies the entire lighting process. You just lay it there and you can light it immediately and it is NOT going to explode on you.”

Barbecue safety tip from fireman Derick Foreman

“If it is possible put the barbecue in a safe distance of 15-20 feet/ 5-6 meters away from your house or any other combustible material. If it is not possible and you put the barbecue under something, for instance a carport or a porch, be sure that the construction is either from masonry or metal. Stay away from wood. At all times, barbecue outside, never inside a house. This can cause large fires.”

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