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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Summer Fire Safety (Part 1: Grilling)

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Burgers cooking on a gas grill Make sure your food's well done, not your house! Pay attention to grill safety precautions to prevent a fire that could jump to your home.

Summer is the time of the year for outdoor parties and celebrations, but it also carries increased risk of house fires started by outdoor cooking, fire pits and campfires. Part 1 of this article will give you important safety guidelines for grilling food outdoors.

  • Gas grills cause almost 9,000 structure and outdoor fires each year in the U.S.
  • An average of more than 18,000 Americans are injured each year by grill fires.
  • 97 percent of grill fires occur between May and August.

General Grill Safety

  • Only use propane and charcoal grills outdoors. This will minimize the risk of fire and exposure to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.
  • Position the grill several feet away from house siding and deck railings. Don’t locate it under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic. Keep children and pets from the grill area by creating a three-foot safety zone around the grill.
  • Use long-handled barbecue tools. Wear short sleeves or roll them up when cooking on the grill.
  • Periodically clean out the grease or fat that has built up in trays below the grill.
  • Keep a bucket of water near your grill.

Charcoal Grills

  • At the start of grilling season, make sure your grill is clean and free of ash and grease.
  • Purchase the appropriate starter fluid and store it out of reach of children and away from heat sources. Never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid after coals or kindling have been ignited.

Propane Gas Grills

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to set up the grill and maintain it.
  • At the start of grilling season, check the burners for clogs, make sure all hoses and connections are secure, and restock the propane if needed.
  • Check the propane cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A soap and water solution applied to the hose will bubble up to reveal escaping propane. If you detect a leak, turn off the tank and grill. If you can stop the leak, don’t use the grill until you have it serviced by a professional. If the leak won’t stop, call the fire department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • Use only propane cylinders manufactured after April 2002 with overfill protection devices (OPD).
  • Never store propane cylinders in buildings or garages.

Read Part 2 of this article for guidelines for safely enjoying a fire pit or campfire.

If you’ve suffered fire damage to your home or business, call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield today at 860.649.0836

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