You used too much lighter fluid and created an inferno in your backyard barbecue, so you had to spray it with a fire extinguisher. Now you want to know if you will be able to use your grill again without harm to your guests and family.
The good news is your grill is not ruined permanently. Whether or not you will be able to use it right away depends on what kind of extinguisher you used. Possible types that you may have used are multi-purpose dry chemical, regular dry chemical, carbon dioxide, halotron, foam, purple K dry chemical or water.
Party's Still On!
If you used a regular dry chemical, carbon dioxide, halotron or water extinguisher, the party is still on. The regular dry chemical is the same chemical as baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and is non-toxic and non-corrosive. Carbon dioxide puts out the fire by removing all the oxygen from the immediate area and then just blows away without any need for cleanup. Halotron is a vaporizing liquid that evaporates completely without any trace. Water is, well, water-- there is no need to clean it up, but you'll have to start over with new briquettes.
Order a Pizza
If you put out the fire with a multi-purpose dry chemical, foam or purple K dry chemical extinguisher, you will have to wait until the grill is cool to clean it out. All of these types leave a chemical residue that will need to be scrubbed, wiped out and left to dry. The multi-purpose dry chemical type is especially bad, since it is corrosive and could cause more serious health issues if ingested. Once your grill is clean, however, you can use it again.
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John Turley has 10 years of experience as a technical writer in the computer software and hardware industries. He wrote the environmental section of the recently published 2009 Dell Corporate Responsibility Report. He received his B.A. in English from B.Y.U. in '93.