When the warmer weather hits, there’s nothing better than the smell of food on the grill.
Seven out of every 10 adults in the U.S. have a grill or smoker, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.
In 2014-2018, fire departments went to an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outside or unclassified fires.
A grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries and property damage.
Follow these simple tips for safe grilling all summer long:
- Use and store grills outdoors at all times. Grills should never be used or stored indoors or in enclosed areas such as a garage, enclosed porch, or breezeway
- Keep the grilling area clear. While cooking, position the grill away from your home’s exterior, away from porch or deck railings, and out from underneath eaves, awnings, and overhanging branches
- Keep kids and pets at arms length. Children and pets should remain at least three feet away from the grill area at all times.
- Clean your grill regularly. Remove grease or fat buildup from the grates and in trays below the grill to avoid potential risk of grease fires or spills.
- Man (or woman) the grill at all times. Never leave your grill unattended while it’s lit.
- Open the lid before you light. Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
- Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids directly to a fire. If using a starter fluid, use only one made for charcoal grills.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- If using an electric charcoal starter with an extension cord, be sure it’s a cord made for outdoor use.
- When finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing in a metal container.
- Check for gas leaks at the start of each year. Here’s how: Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. If the hose has a leak, it will release bubbles from the hose.
- If your grill has a gas leak and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the 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.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move or touch the grill.
- If the flame goes out while cooking, turn both the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it.
For more grilling safety tips and facts, visit the National Fire Protection Association website.
If you’ve experienced a fire loss, Rochester Fire Restoration can help you restore and rebuild your property quickly and safely. Contact us today!