July 14, 2011
Grilling and summertime go hand-in-hand. Your senior can still continue with favorite summer pastimes such as cookouts with a little extra help from a family member or professional CAREGiverSM.
Q. My 80-year-old father still loves to grill, but I'm concerned that he is not safe anymore. Any suggestions on how I can help ensure that he following the proper procedures?
If your dad still wants to be the head griller for the family cookout, perhaps you could be around to lend a helping hand. There's no reason why your dad shouldn't continue with his hobby with a little assistance. You also may want to post the following tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
- If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
If you can't be around to assist your dad, why not consider a professional caregiving company. Home Instead CAREGiversSM can assist older adults with meal preparation and companionship.
For more grilling safety tips, visit the National Fire Protection Association website.
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