Grilling safety tips to help reduce fires and injuries

Grilling safety tips to help reduce fires and injuries
Grilling safety tips to help reduce fires and injuries(Consumer Reports)
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 1:56 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(Valley News Live) - Memorial day goes hand-in-hand with outdoor celebrations and cookouts. With the holiday coming soon, it’s almost time to break out the grill! The National Fire Protection Association is working to ensure people know potential grilling risks and how to minimize them.

NFPA says its data shows between 2017 and 2021, US fire depts. responded to an annual average of over 11,000 home fires. This includes grills, hibachis, or barbecues, including 5,763 structure fires and 5,659 outside or unclassified fires. Officials say it’s caused an annual average of two deaths, 176 injuries, and $172 million in direct property damage. Grilling fires in the colder months accounted for 4% or less each year.

For that same period of time, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission found an annual average of 22,155 patients in the emergency room for grill-related injuries. Nearly half were thermal burns, including burns from fire and touching hot objects. NFPA says these typically happen when someone, often a child, bumps into, touches, or falls on the grill, grill part or hot coals. Children under five were 46% of the statistic.

Here are some key tips from the NFPA to help keep yourself safe:

  • If you have a propane grill, check the gas tank for leaks before you use it. (Click here for a link on how to check for leaks.)
  • Keep the grill clean by cleaning grease or fat buildup off of the grill and in trays below it.
  • Put the grill well away from the home, decks, and out from under trees.
  • Make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
  • Keep kids and pets at least three feet away.
  • If you use starter fluid when charcoal grilling, only use charcoal starter fluid. Do not add it or any other flammable liquids to the fire. When you’re done, let the coals cool before throwing them away.
  • Do not leave the grill unattended when using.

For more tips, recommendations, and resources for safe grilling, click here.