Grilling Safety

Don’t let your BBQ go up in flames this summer

grilling meat outsideSummer is here, and it’s time to fire up the barbeque grills and spend some time with the family. However, grilling out comes with its risks, and July is the peak month for grill fires. North Metro Fire Rescue District wants to educate residents on how to keep their home and family safe from harm this summer with these safety tips.

By the numbers

  • On average, 10,200 home fires involve grills, hibachis, or barbecues each year.
  • The leading causes of grill fires were: not keeping the grill clean, having the grill too close to something that could catch fire and leaving the grill unattended.
  • Annually 19,000 patients go to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills.

What can you do

  1. Give your grill space – Check the placement of your grill to ensure there are no flammable materials nearby – this includes overhanging tree branches, deck railings, furnishings, etc. In addition, don’t leave items such as kitchen towels or mitts near the open flame, which may catch on fire.
  2. Protect your propane – Five out of six (83%) grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas. Before you begin using your gas grill, check the propane hose for any leaks. This can be done using a soap and water solution to look for bubbles released or by smell. If there’s a leak, turn off the gas and have your grill serviced by a professional. In addition, when not using your gas grill, make sure it’s stored away from children and covered, so they can’t easily turn on the knobs to the grill.
  3. Keep watch while grilling – As a rule, you shouldn’t leave your grill unattended. This is particularly important when small children are around who might burn themselves on the grill. Also remember grease and fat that drip down from meats on the grill can fuel flame-ups, which is another reason to keep an eye on your grill at all times.
  4. Make sure your fire is put out after use – If you’re using a charcoal grill or fire pit, make sure to douse the fire thoroughly with water and ensure the area is cool to touch before going to sleep or leaving the area. Don’t empty coals into your trash can. Instead, use a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used only to collect coals and store in a safe location. For propane grills, make sure to cover your grill after its use to keep children from turning any of the knobs or dogs from chewing through the propane hose when you aren’t around. 

Additional resources

Contributing source: National Fire Protection Association