SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Three out of five households own a gas grill, which translates to a lot of tasty meals, but it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.
Each year, an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While nearly half of the people who grill do it year-round, July is the peak month for grill fires followed by May, June and August.
• In 2014, 16,600 patients went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills.
• July is the peak month for grill fires, including both structure, outdoor or unclassified fires.
• A leading factor contributing to the fire in one/fifth of all grill structure fires was a failure to clean the grill.
• Also, regarding grill structure fires, in 17 percent of cases, something that could catch fire was too close to the grill.
• Leaks or breaks were the factor in 11 percent of grill structure fires and 23 percent of outside and unclassified grill fires.
• Gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts.
General grilling safety tips:
Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout, but fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines:
• Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
• The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
• Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
• Never leave your grill unattended.
Gas grill safety tips:
• Check the major connection points between the gas tank hose, regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
• Check the gas tank hose for potential leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
• Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose. If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
• When the grill is on, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
• If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
• If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.
• If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not move the grill.
Charcoal grill safety tips:
• There are several ways to get charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as fuel.
• If you use a starter fluid, only use charcoal lighter fluid. Never add lighter fluid or other flammable liquids to the fire.
• Keep lighter fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
• For electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire, be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
• When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.