Grilling season is heating up during the months of June and July.
And it can be dangerous too. That's why the National Fire Protection Association is stressing safety.
The agency states that gas grills constitute a higher risk, having been involved in an annual average of 6,900 home fires in 2005-2009, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in an annual average of 1,100 home fires.
- In 2005-2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,200 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including an average of 3,400 structure fires and 4,800 outside fires.
- More than one-quarter (29%) of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, 28% started on an exterior balcony.
Numerous organizations offer safety tips. Here are some from the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.
- Read the owner's manual.
Always read the owner's manual before using your grill and follow specific usage, assembly, and safety procedures.
- Grills are for outside, only.
Barbecue grills are designed for outdoor use, only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area because carbon monoxide may accumulate and kill you.
- Keep grill stable.
When using a barbecue grill, be sure that all parts of the unit are firmly in place and that the grill is stable (can’t be tipped over).
- Use long-handled utensils.
Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.
- Wear safe clothing.
Wear clothing that does not have hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.
- Keep fire under control.
To put out flare-ups, either raise the grid that the food is on, spread the coals out evenly, or adjust the controls to lower the temperature.
- Never leave a grill unattended once lit.
- Stay away from hot grill.
Don’t allow anyone to conduct activity near the grill when in use or immediately following its use. The grill body remains hot up to an hour after being used.