Where There’s Smoke …

August 4, 2020

Whether it’s the smell of barbecue sauce or the anticipation of perfectly grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, there’s nothing like having a cookout on a warm summer day. Outdoor grilling is one of the most popular ways to prepare food – especially now with more people cooking from home due to COVID-19.  But a grill placed next to flammable material is a fire waiting to happen.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire dep​artments respond to nearly 9,000 home fires per year involving grills, hibachis or barbecues. In addition, statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission show that about 20,000 people go to emergency rooms each year due to injuries from grilling. Nearly half of these injuries are thermal burns caused by contacting fire and hot objects.*

The NFPA offers the following tips to help keep you and your family safe when grilling this summer:

  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
  • Locate your grill a safe distance from your home and deck railings, and do not operate it under eaves or low-hanging tree branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat ​buildup from the cooking grates and in the trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • For gas grills, always make sure the lid is open before lighting it.

For more information about grilling safety and other fire and electrical hazards, visit www.nfpa.org.​

*Figures are from 2014-2018.​

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