Every year when it gets warm outside, most people look forward to getting friends and family together and cooking on their grill. It is important to recognize that grills and barbecues pose a risk of causing fire or exploding if not operated properly. Over 8,000 home fires each year involve grills, barbecues, or hibachis. In fact, one out of every six residential structure fires involves a grill as the ignition source. In addition to property damage, these accidents can result in serious injuries resulting from burns or carbon monoxide exposure. Here are some important grill and barbecue safety tips to consider
- before operating and repairing your grill always refer to your owner’s manual for proper instruction and warnings
- never operate a barbecue grill inside of a home, trailer, tent, garage, or any enclosed area as it poses an increased risk of fire and carbon monoxide build-up
- place your grill in an open area away from buildings, trees, or other overhead combustible surfaces
- make sure that your grill is placed so that it is stable and cannot tip over
- for propane grills, check the gas tank hose for leaks before using for the first time of the season by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose – a propane leak will release bubbles – in the event of a leak turn the grill to the off position, if the leak stops take it to a professional for repair, if the leak does not stop call the fire department
- for charcoal grills, wait until coals have completely cooled before removing, make sure that lighter fluid is never applied to a lit fire, and never apply other liquid fuels such as gasoline or kerosene!