That’s the average number of home grill fires that fire departments in the United States responded to each year between 2014-2018, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). Resulting from those fires? A whopping $149 million in direct property damage.
As you fire up the grill this Labor Day, we hope you celebrate the end of summer with safety at the top of your party list.
Here, we offer Do’s and Don’ts from the Insurance Information Institute to ensure a sizzlingly safe, and delicious, cookout:
- Operate your grill on a level surface, a safe distance away from your house, garage and landscaping.
- Make sure the grill is properly ventilated. Never grill indoors or in enclosed areas. Charcoal grills in particular produce carbon monoxide fumes that can be fatal in unventilated areas.
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby and handy, and let everyone know where it is and how to operate it.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill.
- Using a charcoal grill? Be sure that your lighter fluid is designed specifically for charcoal grilling.
- Protect yourself, or whoever the Grill Master may be, with a heavy apron and oven mitts that reach high up on their forearm. Use long-handed grilling utensils to protect against any burns or hot splashes.
- Allow proper time for the grill to cool upon finishing, before cleaning and covering it. Covering your grill will protect it from inclement weather, falling leaves and insects.
- Use gasoline or other flammable liquids, and never add more lighter fluid once the fire has started.
- Move the grill once it is lit.
- Throw hot charcoal in the garbage. Soak charcoal briquettes with water to ensure that they’re cool and inactive before disposal.
- Keep propane tanks too close to your home. Store them outside, away from structures, and ensure that the valves are firmly turned off.
Think you’re prepared? Keep in mind, accidents can and still do happen.
Each year, nearly 20,000 people are treated in the hospital for grill-related injuries. Of those, NFPA says, 10 percent are young children with burns from touching the grill.
Cool water can be ran over minor burns, but do not cover injured areas with bandages or salve. Flames spread fast. In the event of a fire, grab the fire extinguisher that you have stored nearby, and if the situation calls for it, don’t delay in calling 911.
Check back next month, when we’ll provide tips for winterizing your grill.