Summer Grilling Safety Tips
Grill Safety to consider when breaking out your inner backyard culinary skills.
July is a peak month for summer grilling fires. The Memorial Day weekend is approaching quickly, it’s time to dust off the grills and let the inner backyard culinary skills to work. As exciting as it is to break out the grill for the official start of the summer season right, we have to always consider the safety that needs to be taken when preparing to light up the grill.
NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) says that the U.S. fire department responded to an average of 8,900 home fire that involved the use of grills, hibachis, or barbecues per year. These 8,900 fires caused annual averages of 10 civilian deaths, 160 injuries, and $118 million in direct property damage. Almost all the losses resulted from structure fires. The leading causes of grill fires were a failure to properly cleaning of the grill, placement of the grill because it was placed to close to a structure, and leaving the grill unattended. Five out of six (83%) of grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas while 13% used other sources of fuel.
Precautions to take while grilling
- Stay alert when grilling. Avoid grilling when you are tired or have consumed too much alcohol.
- Do Not leave your grill unattended.
- Keep the grill in a place that is free from flammable items and away from porch rails, and low lying branches.
- Keep children and pets as far away from the grill as possible
- Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
NOTE: A light soap and water solution applied to the hose is a great way to check for leaks. You can often smell a propane leak, but propane will also release bubbles when the soap and water solution is applied. If you detect a leak, turn the gas tank and grill off. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before igniting.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately move away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
- If the flames go out for any reason, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.
- Keep your grill clean by regularly removing grease or fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
Charcoal grill safety tips to consider:
- If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquid to the flames.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- Electric charcoal starters do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container with a lid.