A great way to stay out of the kitchen in the summer is to grill outdoors. The number one rule for grilling is not the secret family recipe for BBQ sauce or those hard to find briquettes – it's S-A-F-E-T-Y!
More than 7,000 home fires each year involve gas grills, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and nearly 30% of grill-related fires begin on a patio, porch, or balcony.
Besides property damage, more than 10,000 emergency room visits each year are caused by grilling mishaps. Charcoal grills are responsible for the majority of home fires and injuries rather than gas grills, but each type can be dangerous. Significantly reduce your chances of grilling-gone-wrong by following these simple safety precautions.
- Grills should only be used outdoors and at a safe distance from exterior walls, siding, eaves, deck railings, low hanging tree branches, etc.
- Never ever leave a grill unattended when lit or in use.
- Know how to use your grill and regularly inspect gas grills for problems, such as a fuel leak or clogged line.
- Routinely remove grease buildup from grills, and be sure to keep them clean to help prevent flare-ups caused by debris.
- If using a charcoal grill, do not dispose of the coals until they are completely cool, and be sure to put them in a safe, nonflammable container outside your home – not in your garage.
- Be sure to keep kids and pets away from the grill area, and don't wear loose clothing if you are grilling.
- Always have a fire extinguisher close by and a phone to call 9-1-1 if needed.
For more tips on safe grilling, visit NFPA.org or SafeKids.org.