An interesting story hit the wires last week. A fire broke out at the Mini Max Storage facility in the Kearny Mesa section of San Diego. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find smoke pouring out of one of the storage buildings. The fire was quickly snuffed out and investigators determined the case was a barbecue grill catching items near it on fire.
Thankfully (for everyone but the person who was storing the grill anyway), the fire didn’t progress beyond the single storage unit. Damages to items inside the unit were estimated to be about $500.
We don’t know what happened exactly, but speculation would be the grill had recently been used and then returned to the storage unit without anyone taking the time to ensure the coals were completely extinguished. They continued to smolder while in the storage unit and then one thing led to the next and the end result was a fire.
Now it’s perfectly fine to keep your barbecue grill in your storage unit. Our home office owns a grill for whenever the urge to have a parking lot cookout strikes us, and when it’s not being used we keep it in our own storage unit. If you are going that route however, you need to be smart about it.
When you’re done cooking, allow the coals to completely cool before doing anything with them. Ideally, you’d give them at least 24 hours to completely burn out. Then dump them into an aluminum cooking pan (or on a sheep of aluminum wrap), pour water over them, wrap them up and then dispose of them in a non-combustible container (e.g. a metal trash can).
Clean your grill surface and any grease catch areas as grease can catch fire fairly easily. This will also help prevent any pests from following their nose straight into your storage unit.
It’s pretty basic, but following these steps can be the difference between safely storing your barbecue grill and setting your storage unit aflame. Think of it in those terms, and taking care of your grill before putting it into storage doesn’t really sound like much of a chore.