Crucial Grilling Advice: Don’t Wear Flammable Sunscreen

Not pictured: A guy accidentally lighting himself on fire.
Not pictured: A guy accidentally lighting himself on fire. Photo: Ryan Matthew Smith, Modernist Cuisine

Here’s a tale of summertime grilling gone wrong that wasn’t touched upon in Grub Street’s recent rundown of backyard barbecue catastrophes. A man in Stow, Massachusetts, was quickly engulfed in flames over Memorial Day weekend after stepping up to his grill. (He survived.) Was it a case of spontaneous combustion? Too much lighter fluid? Nope: The culprit was sunscreen!

After applying Banana Boat spray-on sunscreen, the man tried stoking the coals smoldering in his grill, at which point the flames engulfed him. Turns out that Banana Boat and many other sunscreen products are highly flammable when first applied. The product cautions users not to apply the aerosol near an open flame, which is kind of a no brainer, but it fails to mention that it continues to be a fire hazard after being applied. The manufacturer released a statement saying that it takes such matters “very seriously,” and launched an investigation to prevent similar incidents from happening. Be safe out there, people!

Stow Man Catches Fire After Applying Sunscreen [CBS Boston]
Related: Break Out the Barbecue: Twelve Videos of Grilling Gone Wrong