Summer wouldn't be summer without cookouts and the outdoor grill! Whether you love hot dogs, burgers, barbecue or some other tasty treat, grilling outdoors in the summer is a great way to enjoy food, family and friends. Unfortunately, improper use of grills can lead to fires that can ruin a great day in a hurry. Here are some statistics from the National Fire Protection Agency...
- In 2002, gas and charcoal grills caused 900 structure fires and 3,500 outdoor fires in or on home properties - this caused $30 million in property damage.
- Gas grills carry higher fire risks due to possible leaks and breaks of supply piping.
- Charcoal grills carry higher Carbon Monoxide risks and result in a larger number of deaths from unvented gases.
- Plants or parts of your home are the first things ignited in most home fires started by grills.
- REMEMBER! Watch where you're grilling/watch while you're grilling!
We want everyone to enjoy their summer, so please take a few moments to read and understand these simple tips that can keep your grilling safe for years to come...
- Grills must only be used outdoors! They are not designed to be used indoors where they can ignite combustibles or fill interior spaces with deadly gases such as Carbon Monoxide. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless gas and an asphyxiant that suffocates your body at a cellular level.
- Grills must always be positioned away from other outdoor combustibles. That means, trees, shrubs, overhangs, siding, etc. Never grill inside your garage, even with the overhead door open!
- Keep your grill clean, and don't allow grease of fat to accumulate. These deposits can ignite causing dangerous flare ups.
- Use long-handled tools to cook. This will prevent the cook from getting burned and keep everyone happy!
- Keep grills away from high traffic areas such as pathways, play areas, and the like. Others may accidentally tip the grill resulting in injury or fires.
- Keep youngsters and pets away from the grill. Even if they don't tip it over, they can be injured easily by the hot surfaces.
- Only use approved starter fluid and store it in a safe area away from kids and heat sources.
- Never add more starter fluid to already burning coals. It will cause an explosive vapor cloud that will often ignite in a dangerous manner.
- Never store propane gas cylinders in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.
- Use only equipment endorsed by an independent testing laboratory.
- Follow all manufacturer directions. Check cylinder and hose for leaks routinely, especially before using it for the first time each season or if it hasn't been used in a while. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will bubble over leaks. If you have a leak, DO NOT USE THE GRILL until it is repaired.
- If you smell leaking gas, get away from the grill and call the Fire Department. Do not try moving the grill, you may make matters worse.
- If you experience any problems while grilling, turn off the gas at the tank and at the grill. If you cannot shut of the grill, call the Fire Department. Do not try moving the grill, you may make matters worse.
We want you to enjoy outdoor cooking, but please remember these tips and use common sense. Nobody wants a cookout to become a house fire or to injure anyone. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us.
For more information on this and other safety topics, visit the NFPA website.