While grilling is a year-round activity, grill usage – as well as grill accidents and fires – spikes in the summer with the arrival of summer holidays, including Memorial Day, Father's Day, July 4, and Labor Day. The best way to enjoy the barbeque is to follow these guidelines to stay safe.
The dangers of grilling
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 16,000+ patients visited emergency rooms with injuries involving grills between 2012 and 2016. Thermal burns are the most common injury.
Common causes of grill fires
Recent statistics show there are nearly 60 million gas grills in the United States. But not everyone knows how to safely operate and maintain grills, which can lead to fires. The most common causes of grill fires are failure to clean the grill (24 percent); the grill being too close to combustibles (15 percent); leaving the equipment unattended (15 percent); a leak or break in a gas line (14 percent); and using the grill for warming (7 percent).
Tips to stay safe while using a grill:
- Keep propane and charcoal grills outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces such as porches or tents, they pose a fire hazard and a risk of exposing people to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Grill should be placed a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and places where people are occupying. Keeping grills at least 10 feet away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches is necessary. Grills should always be on level ground
- Matches, lighters, and starter fluid should be out of the reach of children in a locked drawer or cabinet.
- Children and pets must stay away from the grill area: declare a three-foot "kid-free zone" around the grill.
- Use long barbeque mitts and long-handled grilling tools to protect the chef from heat and flames when cooking.
- Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
Whether its hot dogs or burgers, grilling is a favorite activity but must be done with caution and care. Be sure to consult your independent insurance agent to be sure you have the right home and umbrella coverage should an unexpected grilling accident occur.
National Fire Protection Association grill fact sheet and grill safety sheet