Memorial Day weekend right around the corner. On Memorial Day, Americans remember those who died while serving in the armed forces. Many visit cemeteries and memorials on that day. People tend to barbecue on Memorial Day as well. With barbecues come the proper precautions that should be taken prior, during, and after.
Did you know that July is the peak month for summer grilling fires? May ranks second on the list, followed by June and August. On average, between 2007 and 2011, there were 7,200 home fires started by gas grills. Charcoal and solid-fueled grills were responsible for 1,400 homes fires a year. More than one quarter of these grill fires started on a patio, terrace, or courtyard. Almost thirty-percent started on a balcony or open porch. Only six percent began in the kitchen. Dealing with fire in any capacity is unsafe, without a doubt. So what precautions can be taken this Memorial Day before firing up that grill? What can be done during the grilling to make sure nothing goes wrong? And, what is the safest way to wrap it up when finished with your barbecue?
- NEVER leave your grill unattended
- Always be alert while grilling.
- Keep the kids at least 3 feet away from the area.
- No flammable (or inflammable) materials near the grill.
- Only use propane and charcoal grills outdoors.
- Make sure your grill is not situated near deck railings or overhanging branches. Seventeen percent of grill structure fires occurred due to not following this tip.
- Each year, before using your gas grill, make sure to check the hose for leaks. Leaks were the cause of 11% of grill structure fires, as well as 23% of outside grill fires.
- Only ignite your gas grill when it is open.
- If while cooking you smell gas, immediately move away from the grill. Call the fire department and DO NOT move the grill.
- If the flames go out somehow, turn of the grill and the gas and wait at least fifteen minutes before relighting it.
- Make sure your grill is clean before using it. Remove grease and fat buildup. A whopping 19% of grill structure fires started due to failure to clean the grill.
It is imperative that you are careful when grilling. Almost 17,000 patients went to the ER in 2012 due to injuries involving grills. This includes 7,400 for thermal burns. In 2014, the numbers were almost the same. 16,600 patients went to the emergency room due to grilling injuries. Be sure to stay safe and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.
See http://www.nfpa.org/grilling for more safety information and tips.
Barak Bacharach, SkySaver Content Manager