Keeping your family safe at a home BBQ

Posted June 3rd, 2021 by SimpliSafe

The British summertime is a picture of walks in the park, picnics, long weekends in the countryside, camping trips, and, of course, the garden BBQ. Food, drinks, and family fun at a home BBQ is one of summer’s highlights. With all the chaos and frolics that go with a garden party, we look at the ways to keep your family safe at a home BBQ, so you can focus on the grill.

BBQ fire safety

Location of the grill

Preparation is key to any type of safety, so always start with the layout. What structures (particularly wooden) do you have in the garden that need to be well away from the grill? Wherever you place the grill, make sure there is plenty of space all around, including the sides, the front and overhead, and never leave it unattended. British weather is predictably unpredictable, but unfortunately, if the heavens do open, you’ll have to pause instead of using a shelter over the open grill.

A clean grill

It’s also so important to make sure your grill is cleaned between BBQ sessions as maintenance is an essential part of BBQ safety. This means using a high-quality grill brush to clean and scrub any charcoal or grime before and after use of the grill. Remove any build-up of ash, charcoal, oil and grime from trays, and check them as you’re grilling. Always refer to your grill’s instruction manual for guidance, too.


Make sure the grill is also placed on a flat surface for perfect stability. You don’t want it to slide, move, or worse, topple over, especially if children are running around.

Wear suitable clothing

Make sure to roll up your sleeves and tuck in your shirt when grilling, better yet, get that apron out. Making sure strings are tied securely. If you have long hair, tie it up and don’t get too close to the BBQ.

Have a fire extinguisher nearby

Something that’s often overlooked when following a BBQ safety checklist is a nearby fire extinguisher. Should the worst happen, having a fire extinguisher to hand to put out dangerous, overbearing flames can be a life-saver. Just make sure somebody knows how to use it. Remember, even a small BBQ can lead to a destructive scenario if not properly maintained or supervised. And in the event of a fire, make sure the house is easily accessible, with no door obstructions, for everyone to get to safety.

Keep children and pets away

Speaking of children, if you’re having a BBQ party and before it even begins, have the safety talk. Make it clear that they are not to come near the grill whatsoever. If they see their pet running near it, want to chase bubbles, want to be nosey, or need the designated griller’s attention - whatever it is - reiterate before and during the BBQ party that they should stay clear because of the danger of the heat and flames of the grill. It’s also a good idea to begin the family party by gathering all children in attendance to have that safety talk so all parents can support and keep tabs on the rules.

If you have curious cats that like to wander and jump up, have a watchful eye or keep them inside with a litter box for the time being. Dogs or puppies that are very excitable should be minded closely and never left unattended. Whilst the flames are on, it might be best for them to stay inside, and then they can come out and play when the grill is cooled down, or keep them on a lead outside whilst everyone is enjoying food.

Buffet and dining

Make sure the buffet table is safely distanced from the BBQ, especially if you have quite a lot of people queuing up and gathering for the delicious food. Having the food table well away from the BBQ will ensure more safety for everyone, reducing the risk of guests or children bumping into the grill. You may even have a host and waiter to bring the food to the outdoor dining table, even better.

Children playing

With family BBQs, being out in the garden means children running riot, playing ball games, doing handstands etc. As well as the BBQ safety talk, it goes without saying that they need to be constantly minded. But, this isn’t always easy when the young ones are going up to their friend’s bedroom to see their new toy, running round to the front garden to play, and generally not staying still. If the house doesn’t have secure driveway gates, remind them to stay away from the front garden, or tell them to ask parents if they’d like to go round to the front for a play. If hide and seek is on the cards, dictate what is off bounds. And make sure the front door is locked.

Watch out for sneak-in burglaries

With all the fun in the garden, loud music, cheers, and chit-chat, we can forget about safety indoors, especially when children are inside for long periods of time. With it being summer, windows tend to be open, and when parties are happening in the back, this unfortunately can make the season popular for sneak-in burglaries. Make sure valuables aren’t easily spotted or left close to open windows, and keep checking indoors regularly during your outdoor parties. Use window locks so they can only open to a certain position, and if it’s not too hot indoors, keep them closed when you can.

Home security and peace of mind

If you do have windows open, your home can still be protected with Motion Sensors. These will detect only the unique heat signature of humans to sound an alarm that notifies you through a smart home security system.

You can also install Entry Sensors to windows and doors, which work with a smart system to also notify you if any windows or doors open. These are not just useful for windows though, you can also place them around the home if you want to keep your kids out of certain places. For example, if you have a drinks cabinet, you can get an alert if that’s opened too!

Security cameras can capture and verify break-ins, alerting you on your smartphone from wherever you are. You can also use them to check in on things, like your children, to make sure they are getting on and playing safely.

By having great safety and security measures in place and being well-prepared, when the BBQ comes round, you’ll be able to have as much fun as possible as stress is reduced. All that’s left to do is to pick those funky, summer BBQ shirts out, stock up on tasty grub and sort the drinks.

For more information and advice on what smart system to get for your property, contact our friendly, expert team today.