When the sun shines in the UK it heralds the beginning of the barbeque season. Family and friends gather in the back garden for the traditional mix of food, drink and merriment.
Parents worry about keeping children away from the ‘barbie’ as the little ones roll around on the lawn. There are usually few issues with cooking outside in areas with natural grass but what about households who have laid artificial lawn?
There may be safety aspects to consider and so we have put together a guide on the potential risks to consider.
Fire hazards with artificial grass
The big question about whether it is safe to barbeque on artificial grass is whether or not it is fireproof or flammable. Quite simply, artificial grass should never be exposed to a naked flame as it is made of polypropylene plastic that will burn.
Artificial grass is heat resistant but very few types are rated as fireproof. It will melt when subjected to fire or extremely hot objects and so caution must be taken.
If kiln sand has been spread on the lawn after laying then it is regarded as fire resistant. The sand is considered to be an extinguishing agent, which helps to stop the heat spreading.
Barbeques should not be placed directly on artificial turf and there are measures you can take to reduce the risk of an incident.
Grass Direct recommendations for BBQ safety
Gardens will vary in size and some may be totally covered with artificial turf while others will have a patio area. The latter is the ideal place to site your barbeque, keeping it as far away from the lawn as possible.
Even if you do have a patio, don’t be complacent as the BBQ can ‘spit’ while the food is cooking, meaning there is still a risk of your artificial lawn being exposed to extreme heat.
It is prudent to keep a bucket of water or sand handy to deal with any area that has been affected.
Of course, not all gardens will have a safe area to place your BBQ. So why not build a temporary site on which to cook? You could lay down some paving slabs on the artificial grass to protect it and ensure that it does not come in contact with the red-hot embers.
Once again, it is essential to make sure the safe area you have created is large enough to give peace of mind while cooking your food.
Remember, caution is the watchword. The last thing anyone wants is an incident that could have been prevented.
Take care to make sure the slabs you lay are even and keep the kids away from the danger zone!
What else to consider for BBQs on artificial grass
Barbeques are social events that many look forward to in the summer months. We have already mentioned that there is a potential fire risk associated with artificial turf.
Keeping everyone safe is the number one priority at these functions.
Aside from the food on offer, alcohol is likely to be free flowing at your summer gathering. If you are the cook, then take control of the situation.
Those with less inhibitions after a drink or two might fancy themselves as the chef and start poking around at the BBQ. Once again, this poses a fire risk as they could inadvertently flick some burning materials onto your lawn.
Make it very clear that the barbeque is your domain and, even if your ‘assistants’ have good intentions, you don’t need any help!
Another risk to the artificial turf comes from smokers. Flicking burning ash onto the surface could also cause a section to melt. Inform your guests that smoking on the lawn is not permitted and give them an alternative location.
Providing ash trays is an option but will these be used after a drink or two?
Cleaning artificial grass to lower fire risk
Inevitably there will be spillages and dropped food during a barbeque. Eating a sausage in a bun has never been the easiest or most elegant way to dine!
After the party has finished, thoughts will turn to cleaning your turf.
This should not pose too much of a problem and a garden hose will suffice in most instances. For the more stubborn stains, then use an artificial grass soapy cleaner.
Avoid using harsh chemicals on your lawn which may be flammable, using a half-and-half solution of water and vinegar is an effective way to get rid of unwanted stains and smells.
As well as hosing down the grass, give the barbecue a good clean after it has cooled down. It is easier to remove fats and oils before it has completely cooled and they stick to the surface of your barbecue.
A clean barbecue means there is one less thing to think of the next time you fire it up.
What happens if artificial grass is damaged by fire?
Despite your best intentions, there is always the possibility that artificial grass will be subjected to fire or heat damage at some stage. It may be only a small patch but, once melted, there is little that can be done to repair it.
The only real option is to replace the damaged area with a new section of lawn to ensure you have that universal green appearance once again.
BBQs and fire pits are obvious burning risks but there are others. Reflective surfaces such as windows can enhance direct sunlight onto your lawn and cause an area to melt.
This can come from your own house or a neighbour’s and sees the need for preventative measures.
If you can erect some sort of shade then that should do the trick. But this might not always be possible. In this instance look to cover the area with a garden feature such as a planter or mini rock garden.
Artificial grass should not be a barrier to enjoying a summer barbeque as long as you stick to the suggestions and respect the fact that fire is a hazard.
Artificial grass with Grass Direct
If you are interested in making the switch from a traditional lawn to artificial grass, then here at Grass Direct we have everything you need to make your outdoor space look picture perfect – without the hassle.
With exceptional prices on our wide range of quality and luxury artificial grass, including our sports grasses for businesses and homes, you can find your ideal product without having to compromise on budget or quality. And because we understand that creating the perfect outdoor space can be tricky, we offer free samples, so you can make sure you choose the right option for you and get your ideal lawn all year round.
For all your artificial grass or decking needs and enquiries, please contact us today by using our contact form on our website or call us on 03308 182 500 to speak to one of our friendly expert advisors!