It’s probably no surprise that June and July are peak months in the United States for grilling accidents, as this is when families and friends gather for barbecues and to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. While grilling is a part of summer for just about everyone, it’s also dangerous and risky for those who neglect safety. According to the National Fire Protection Association, some 8600 home fires were caused by gas and charcoal grills in 2013, and less than six percent of those were in the kitchen!
How can you protect your home and your family this summer grilling season?
Consider a few simple tips to get you started.
- It may seem obvious, but you never want to leave your grill unattended especially around children and animals. You also want to stay aware and alert when grilling, so consider how much alcohol you consume and be sure you’re not sleepy or feeling ill when you use your grill.
- Check to see if there are flammable materials around the grill and keep these at a distance. This might include paper towels, alcoholic beverages, aprons, and other such items. Move your bag of charcoal away from the grill once you’re done with its use.
- Note the area above and around your grill. You should never have a grill underneath eaves or when there are decks and porches above, and they also need to stay clear of railings. Remember that you don’t need to see the flames come into direct contact with these items for a fire to begin, so move the grill to a safe area several feet away from your home before use.
- Hoses should be checked for leaks before each and every use. While you may not be able to smell propane, you can find leaks using a soap and water solution. Spray a light solution on the hose; any leaking propane will create bubbles. If you notice leaks, turn off the propane tank and have your grill serviced by a professional if necessary. Never take risks with gas grills even if you don’t see leaks in the hoses or if your unit is new.
If you take a few extra minutes to be aware of your grill and its condition and keep it away from your home, you’re sure to have a safe grilling season this summer!