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.
Common Causes of Grill Fires
According to the National Fire Protection Association, grills have been the cause of over 10,000 home fires each year, on average. Some of the most common causes include grease build-up, flare-ups, propane leaks, improper starter fluid usage or equipment malfunction. Additionally, placing the grill too close to combustible objects such as trees, wooden structures, or flammable materials increases the risk of a fire. This is why it’s important to never leave your grill unattended.
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.
- Do not bring your grill into an unventilated or enclosed space, such as the garage or inside of your home. This is not only a major fire hazard, it is also a carbon monoxide hazard.
- The 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.
- Do not let children or pets play near the grilling area until the grill is completely cool: declare a three-foot “kid-free zone” around the grill.
- Use long barbecue mitts and long-handled grilling tools to protect the chef from heat and flames when cooking.
- Before using a gas grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to make sure it is not leaking and is working properly.
- Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
Whether it’s 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.
Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.