On average, there are over 8,800 home fires started by grills per year, causing $37 million in damage, and over 16,900 reported injuries involving grills. Many of these injuries and home fires take place over holiday weekends – when a fun, family event can take a turn for the worst.
1. STORE AND USE PROPANE AND CHARCOAL GRILLS OUTDOORS.
Keeping a grill inside your home is potentially lethal – causing carbon monoxide and flammable chemical build up. Grills – particularly gas grills that cause a higher number of fires than charcoal grills – should be kept outside and at least ten feet away from your home, which will limit the amount of damage done to your home should the grill catch on fire.
2. KEEP YOUR GRILL CLEAN.
By cleaning your grill before, during, and after use, you greatly reduce the risk of a causing a grease fire.
3. CHECK FOR GAS LEAKS AND ALWAYS TURN OFF THE GAS.
Twenty percent of all reported grill fires were a result of leaks or breaks. A small spark or improperly disposed cigarette can cause a catastrophic explosion if gas is in the air. At the beginning of the grilling season, check your propane tank and grill connections to make sure there are no leaks.
4. KEEP A FIRE EXTINGUISHER NEARBY.
All homes should keep an up-to-date fire extinguisher in the house. Be sure that all home occupants, including children over 10, know where it is located and know how to operate it.
The best place to keep an extinguisher is inside near the kitchen and outside door closest to the grill. If these are located on opposite sides of your home, consider buyer two extinguishers.
5. LIGHT THE GRILL WITH THE LID OPEN.
Lighting the grill when closed can cause gas to build up and a fireball to blow up when you open the lid – potentially causing severe burns on your face and arms.
6. KEEP KIDS, PETS, AND DECORATIONS AWAY FROM GRILL.
When operating the grill, monitor kids and pets to be sure they keep a safe distance from the grill. Kids and pets can knock a grill over or brush against a hot part of the grill, causing burns.
Also, by keeping decorations a safe distance from the grill, you can avoid decorations falling or getting blown into the grill, potentially causing a fire.
7. KEEP FLAMMABLE CHEMICALS AWAY FROM THE GRILL.
Common household chemicals like bug repellents in aerosol cans or fertilizer can be flammable. Store them away from the grill to avoid a fire.
8. NEVER STORE PROPANE IN THE HOME.
Propane is incredibly flammable and storing it in the home can risk leaking propane in the home. This can cause an explosion if the leaked gas comes in contact with a flame or spark.
9. PROPERLY PUT OUT THE FIRE BEFORE LEAVING.
Even a little ember can reignite a grill with a little bit of wind. Learn how to properly turn off your gas grill or suffocate a charcoal grill before attempting to grill. Using sand on a fire pit or suffocating a charcoal grill from oxygen is the best way to ensure a fire cannot reignite while unattended.