With the fourth of July coming up this weekend, grilling season is in full swing. July is the peak season for grilling according to the National Fire Protection Association. It is important to be reminded however that grills fires can ignite in an instant and can lead to serious injury, death and property damage. During the period from 2004 – 2008, fire departments in the United States responded to almost 8000 home fires involving grilling devices. On average, grill fires cause thirteen deaths, 120 serious injuries and an estimated seventy million in property damage every year. Roughly eighty percent of those fires resulted from gas fueled devices. Gas can build up under the hood, so make sure you open the hood before lighting.
Here are the recommended grilling safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association, to keep your celebration from turning into tragedy.
Only use propane and charcoal grills outdoors.
Place the grill well away from the home – away from deck railings, and from overhanging eaves and branches.
Closely supervise children and pets, keeping them away from the grill area. Twenty two percent of all grill burns are suffered by children under five.
Keep your grill clean, remove any fat or grease buildup from the grill or trays.
Never leave your grill unattended.
If you use started fluid, never use anything other than charcoal starter fluid – and never add any charcoal fluid or other flammable liquids after the fire has started.
Make sure your coals are completely extinguished before disposing of them in a metal container.
If you use propane grills, check the tanks for leaks before using it for the first time per year with a soap water solution. If you smell gas while grilling, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
Have fun, but be safe this summer.