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Avoiding barbecue accidents: how to get through the barbecue season safely


May 22, 2023
Avoiding barbecue accidents: how to get through the barbecue season safely

The barbecue is sacred to germans. According to a statista survey, just under 90 percent of bundesburg residents own a. And according to a survey by the society for consumer research, 14 percent of people in this country barbecue at least once a month, six percent even several times a month.

Many barbecue accidents

However, a cosy barbecue with friends doesn't always have a happy ending: in the heat of the battle, accidents often occur, usually caused by the improper use of fire accelerants. 4000 barbecue accidents occur every year, according to data from the german society for burns medicine, or DGV for short. One in ten of them results in serious burns. This has a lot to do with the fact that most barbecue fans (62 percent) still swear by charcoal – and charcoal barbecues are most accident-prone. It's extremely rare for someone to have an accident while using a gas or electric grill.

Not least for this reason, the gas grill has already achieved a considerable market share of around 30 percent in america. And in germany, too, the number of people who prefer gas barbecues has risen steadily in recent years – but the proportion is still only around ten percent.

Dangerous mixture of air and gas

To prevent accidents, it helps to follow a few safety rules. As a matter of principle, only grills that comply with DIN standard 66077 or bear the GS seal of approval should be used. This is pointed out by the insurance chamber of bavaria. It's also important to set up a barbecue correctly – on a firm, level and, of course, non-flammable surface.

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in addition, he should stand in the lee of the wind to avoid stinging flames caused by sudden gusts of wind. Alcohol, petrol and other fire accelerants have no place on a barbecue: if they are poured into the fire, a dangerous mixture of air and gas can develop in a matter of seconds, leading to a high flash fire.

Do not wear synthetic clothing

Flammable objects such as paper napkins or dry plants are taboo within a radius of three meters around the grill – and as a grill master, you should not wear easily flammable synthetic clothing either. Barbecue skirts and gloves may not be everyone's cup of tea, but with this equipment, you can be on the safe side. In addition, you should never leave the barbecue unattended and, for safety's sake, keep a bucket of water handy. Also important when small children are present: there should be no frolicking around the grill – otherwise it can easily happen that they get too close to the fire or knock the grill over.

In the event that something does go wrong, the usual insurance policies that everyone should have in their insurance folder can help: "damage caused by barbecuing is often covered by personal liability or household insurance", bdv press officer bianca boss explains. Under certain circumstances, an accident or disability insurance could also come into play.

When something has gone wrong

Private liability insurance prevents the person who causes damage from having to pay for the consequential costs with his or her private assets – for example, if he or she is responsible for something going wrong at a barbecue. It is not necessarily the case that only the person who is spiritus and co. The person who poured the flames into the barbecue is considered to have caused the damage and must be held liable: sometimes people who are not actively barbecuing can also be partly responsible for the damage.

In such a case, the higher regional court of hamm ruled that all those involved who failed to prevent the use of a fire accelerant must be held liable. According to the court, all those present had to actively intervene to avert the danger (az. 9 U 129/08). This is another reason why personal liability insurance is essential for everyone. However, the police only intervene if a person can be proven to be at fault.


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