According to the National Fire Protection Association, July is the peak month for grill fires. And roughly half of grill related injuries are burns. The leading causes of grill fires were: a failure to clean, having the grill too close to something that could catch fire, and leaving the grill unattended.
Grilling is a great way to prepare your favorite foods, however you should always use caution when using your outdoor grill. The CVFD hopes you’ll consider the following safety tips:
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.
- Position the grill well away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Many folks are surprised at how fast vinyl siding can melt from a hot grill that is too close.
- Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic.
- Keep children and pets from the grill area: declare a three-foot “safe zone” around the grill.
- Put out several long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames when cooking.
- Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
- If you are using a gas grill and the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light. LP Gas is heavier than air, so it can quickly collect in the bottom of a grill.
When using charcoal grills, Purchase the proper starter fluid and store out of reach of children and away from heat sources. Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
When using gas grills, Check the propane cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will reveal escaping propane quickly by releasing bubbles. If you determined your grill has a gas leak by smell or the soapy bubble test and there is no flame:
- Turn off the propane tank and grill.
- 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.
Be safe and enjoy your grilling!