Barbecuing sounds like a relatively harmless activity that’s fun for everyone.
But did you know that thousands of people living in the United States wind up being injured while enjoying this activity in their own backyard?
Yes, this event, which is supposed to be nothing but fun for friends and family alike, is often dangerous to those involved due to a very small and simple yet potentially deadly mistake, and there’s a chance that it’s a mistake you’ve been making.
Since barbecue grills and structures are fairly expensive, we often clean up as thoroughly as possible to avoid damage and to prevent any flare-ups.
These flare-ups occur when fat or grease from previous barbecues build up slowly, and they pose a bad fire hazard.
In order to eliminate this risk, many use a specific tool to get rid of the fat and grease.
That tool is a BBQ brush, complete with tough wire bristles. While designed to promote better safety, it, unfortunately, is just as capable of harming as it is helping.
You might think this isn’t as dangerous as it sounds, but here’s the truth of the matter.
A study done by the University of Missouri School of Medicine shows that almost 1,700 cases of injury from BBQ brushes have been reported from emergency rooms across the United States since the year 2002.
This fact was thrown into the spotlight when, in that same year, a boy just six years old ate a barbecued hamburger fresh off the grill and wound up with a loose bristle from a BBQ brush stuck in his throat.
The case made headlines in newspapers and media outlets nationwide, and now more and more people are concerned about this health and safety issue.
So, why exactly does this problem occur?
A BBQ brush’s metal bristles often become progressively looser the longer they are used. Once they’re too loose, a stray bristle may escape the brush when you clean your grill.
The next time you start up the barbecue pit, raw meat that is put on the grill can pick up these stray bristles.
What can you do to prevent this from happening? After all, BBQ brushes are essential in preventing fire hazards. Here are some steps to take.
1. Look the brush over before using. If the bristles seem very worn down or appear to be loose, don’t risk it – swap it out with a brand new one.
2. Take good care of your BBQ brush to prevent faster wear and tear. Ideally, try not to leave it outside where it can get weathered down.
3. When you’re done scrubbing, don’t just close the barbecue and go. Grab a damp rag or cloth and use it to wipe down the grill so you can get rid of any bristles that happen to have fallen.
4. If you don’t want to use a BBQ brush at all, opt straight for a wooden scraper to completely eliminate the risk of loose bristles.
Stay safe while using your barbecue this summer!