Now that summer is here, home chefs everywhere are reaching for their grills, eager to usher in the long-awaited barbecue season. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that grillers pay particular attention to safety this summer when home fires involving grilling incidents occur most often.
Three out of five households own a gas grill, according to NFPA, which provide an increased risk of home fires. In 2009 – 2013, an annual average of 8,900 home fires involved grills, hibachis or barbecues, and close to half of all injuries involving grills were due to thermal burns.
NFPA reminds everyone that all types of grills (gas and charcoal) pose a risk for fires and burn injuries, with 27% of home structure grill fires started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and another 27% started in a courtyard, terrace or patio. According to the report, 8% began in the kitchen.
When grilling, NFPA suggests the following:
* 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 at least three feet away from the grill area.
* Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grates and in the trays below.
* Never leave your grill unattended.
For additional information and resources including tips for outdoor cooking with portable grills, visit www.nfpa.org/grilling or download NFPA’s safety tips sheet on grilling for easy access.