Use Precaution During the Grilling Season
For many households, the return of warm weather signals the
beginning of the outdoor cooking season. Before people fire up the grill, we
ask them to take a few moments to think about grilling safety. Doing this at
the start of summer can go a long way toward limiting grill accidents.
A key concern with gas or charcoal grills is inappropriate
placement: NFPA explained that more than one-third of all gas and charcoal
grill home fires begin on an exterior balcony or unenclosed porch.
U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 8,800 home
fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues per year, including an average
of 3,800 structure fires and 5,000 outside fires. These 8,800 fires caused
annual average of 10 civilian deaths, 140 reported injuries and $96 million in
direct property damage. (nfpa.org
Here are the following safety tips for reference when
Make Fire Safety a Priority
Propane and charcoal BBQ grills
should only be used outdoors.
The grill should be placed well away
from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
Keep children and pets away from the
Keep your grill clean by removing
grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
Never leave your grill unattended.
There are several ways to get the
charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the
charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
If you use a starter fluid, use only
charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids
to the fire.
Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach
of children and away from heat sources.
There are also electric charcoal
starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor
When you are finished grilling, let
the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Gas grills should be thoroughly inspected before using for
the first time each year. Check for propane cylinder hose leaks by using a
light soap and water solution applied to the hose as it will quickly reveal
escaping propane by releasing bubbles.
If you find bubbles (or if there is an odor and no flame)
immediately turn off the propane tank and grill. If the leak stops after taking
this step, get the grill professionally serviced. If the leak does not stop,
call the fire department. Also, if you smell gas while cooking, immediately step
away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the
For more grilling safety tips, visit the National Fire
Protection Association’s web site at www.nfpa.org