Many of us will be firing up our barbecue grills on the Fourth of July for gatherings with family and friends. Who doesn’t love the delicious smell of burgers, hot dogs, and corn sizzling on the grill?
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 64 percent of the households in America own a gas grill. July is the peak month for grill fires, followed by June, May, and August.
Unfortunately, accidents involving grills are common. Every year, an average of more than 10,000 fires are started by grills, and more than 19,000 people end up in the emergency room each year because of injuries involving grilling mishaps, according to NFPA.
To help everyone enjoy a safe Fourth of July, we have compiled seven grilling safety tips:
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it. If the lid is closed, gas can build up inside your grill and turn into a fire ball when you light it and open the lid.
- Maintain at least a 10-foot clearance between the grill and your home, deck railings and overhanging branches. Grills should not be placed under eaves and overhangs as fire – fueled by grease – can flare up into these structures and spread.
- Have a water spray bottle handy to douse flare ups, and an extinguisher nearby.
- Minimize flare ups by removing grease buildup from the grill and in the trays below the grill.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Make sure someone is attending to the grill at all times because a fire can double in size in as little as two minutes.