Neighbor's Lighter fluid fumes

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Live in the city, where the houses are close, but not on top of each other. Everyone has a small yard.
A couple times last year one of the neighbors prepared their charcoal BBQ using what 'I thought' was an excessive amount of lighter fluid. I say, 'I thought', only because the fumes from the pre-light were quite powerful. Didn't say anything about it and at this point I'm not sure who the culprit is. However, it started up again today and I'm not in the mood to put up with it for another summer.
Outside of lighting my neighbor's house on fire, which approach might be best. 1. Tell him/her to stop it all together as it poses a heath risk and is quite annoying? If he refuses call the fire department. 2. Ask how much fluid he is using. If his response seems excessive, then tell him to cut back. Again, if the odors seem excessive, then call the fire or health department.
I get the feeling he's using about a quarter of a can. I'm only judging by the strength of the fumes.
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Charlie S. wrote:

So you have to "put up" with it for, what, 10 minutes?
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Don't I wish. It's much longer than that. He must wait an hour before lighting the stupid thing. Can't say for sure about the time, but I know it's much longer than 10 minutes.

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I will bet you complain about everything, you should move.
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You are wrong. I get along well with my neighbors. We shovel each other out and watch each other's houses when we go away. We also help if there is major project going on.
It's just that this odor is excessive and suffocating. Can't sleep in my room when it's on. My room faces the back of my house. Thus, I think it is one of the neighbors behind me that making a stink.

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What are they using as lighter fluid? Normal charcoal lighter fluid isn't that volatile to create the fumes you describe. It's only a little lighter (no pun) a petroleum fraction than kerosene. Something in the naptha family I think. That's why when you light it the flames spread gradually at first and it doesn't go "poof" like a more volatile fluid would.
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You have a good point. Maybe they are not using lighter fluid. I can remember starting many BBQ's using lighter fluid. The smell was pretty much contained to a small area. Wherever these fumes are coming from have to be 100 feet away or more. Next time I notice the smell, I'm going to investigate.
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Charlie S. wrote:

Fan.
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dadiOH
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Abe wrote:

This will...
http://bigassfans.com/default.asp
Jeff
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(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Abe wrote:

Fan blowing out the window. Out the window facing the source of the malodorous fumes. IOW, prevent their entry in whatever way possible. Maybe even close the windows and seal them up (except for the hole for the fan, of course). If all else fails, gas mask.
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fumes bother you, and at the same time give him a gift of a Weber charcoal starter. You can also explain how the food will taste better, and that he'll be ingesting fewer carcinogens. (Amazon.com product link shortened)
The best 11.99 plus a few bucks for shipping you'll ever spend in the pursuit of good neighbor relations. You might even get invited over for some grilled yummies.
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I checked out the reviews. (see link below) They are all very positive. May be the route to go. May get one myself. Will talk to the neighbor beforehand. It could be that he's letting the fluid sit too long before igniting.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)(6168&s=garden
Curious though, do you cook on it too? Or, do you pour the charcoals to a regular grill after they get lit.
Do the newspapers go on the bottom or along the sides?
Thanks for the idea. I had been thinking of buying a new gas grill or revamping the old one. This seems like a better solution.
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can sit in the grill while the coals are getting ready, so there's no need for a chimney stand or bricks to set the chimney on. Never set the chimney on anything that might burn or melt, like wood or plastic.

it takes.

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Charlie S. wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)(6168&s=garden
I've got one (I don't think it's a Weber) You loosely stuff a full sheet of newspaper in the bottom, fill the top with charcoal, and light the bottom. The paper burns up. The charcoals light and turn gray quite rapidly. When the top coals look about ready, you pick up the chimney and all the charcoal falls out the bottom onto your grate.
Best regards, Bob
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-snip-

I'm not the one who suggested it-- but they spoke my mind perfectly. Pour the briquettes into your grill after they're lit.

In the bottom.

Way better. My son talked me into a charcoal grill a few years ago after I'd cussed at gas grills for 15 yrs. I built one of those starts out of a piece of stovepipe I had laying around. Last year I replaced it with a $10 one from Lowe's. I'll never use fluid again. \\ Jim
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wrote:
:
: :>> A couple times last year one of the neighbors prepared their charcoal BBQ :>>using what 'I thought' was an excessive amount of lighter fluid. I say, :>>'I :>>thought', only because the fumes from the pre-light were quite powerful. :>>Didn't say anything about it and at this point I'm not sure who the :>>culprit :>>is. However, it started up again today and I'm not in the mood to put up :>>with it for another summer. :>>1. Tell him/her to stop it all together as it poses a heath risk and is :>>quite annoying? If he refuses call the fire department. :>>2. Ask how much fluid he is using. If his response seems excessive, then :>>tell him to cut back. Again, if the odors seem excessive, then call the :>>fire or health department. :> Both approaches are unneighborly. Be a good neighbor. Tell him the :> fumes bother you, and at the same time give him a gift of a Weber :> charcoal starter. You can also explain how the food will taste better, :> and that he'll be ingesting fewer carcinogens. :> (Amazon.com product link shortened):> :> The best 11.99 plus a few bucks for shipping you'll ever spend in the :> pursuit of good neighbor relations. You might even get invited over :> for some grilled yummies.: :I checked out the reviews. (see link below) They are all very positive. :May be the route to go. May get one myself. Will talk to the neighbor :beforehand. It could be that he's letting the fluid sit too long before :igniting. : :(Amazon.com product link shortened)(6168&s=garden : :Curious though, do you cook on it too? Or, do you pour the charcoals to a :regular grill after they get lit. : :Do the newspapers go on the bottom or along the sides? : : :Thanks for the idea. I had been thinking of buying a new gas grill or :revamping the old one. This seems like a better solution. : I like this idea a lot. The coffee can idea I posted above is similar, but this would obviously be better and it uses no lighter fluid. I think you might be able to make your own, if you are so inclined.
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Excellent suggestion. I bought one of those bbq chimneys from Amazon back in 2002, and have been very happy with it. I wrote one of the earlier reviews forthat itemt on Amazon, and am amazed to see over 180 total reviews there now. It speaks well for basic ingenuity when such a simple and inexpensive device elicits such accolades from so many different people.
Sy
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There's also the electric starter. My family used those for years. They eventually fail because inevitably one doesn't remove them from the now- very-hot charcoal fast enough but they're cheap. We always got several years use out of each. Needing a cord is the only drawback.
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I wouldn't want to alienate my neighbor over that, but I hate the smell of those fumes. I start my charcoal fires the hard way, using twigs and newspaper for tinder, takes longer but I just like to do it that way.
Some nights it seems the whole neighborhood is permeated with those fumes; the houses are kind of close together, too, but not that close. They do dissipate after a short while unless. Unless what? Whatever causes airborne molecules to stay near the ground and not be carried off by a breeze.

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