Grilling is one of the many outdoor activities families enjoy all summer long. However, the U.S. Fire Administration reports that approximately 5,700 grill fires happen in homes across America every year. Grill fires can cause serious physical injuries and property damage. To ensure a safe and delicious barbecue season, follow these simple grilling safety tips.
Grill Storage and Maintenance
Most grill fires occur on gas grills. Before every use, inspect the grill for loose, cracked, or blocked hoses and tubes. Use a wire cleaner to remove dirt and food from grill grates. Clean trays of grease and fat buildup.
Check for gas leaks by pouring a small amount of water and soap solution over hoses and connections. Turn the propane tank on. If you see bubbles anywhere along tubes or at connections, you have a leak. Turn off the tank immediately if you suspect a leak. Grills should be professionally repaired before using again. Check to make sure propane valves are securely turned off and store tanks outside in an upright position, a good distance away from the home. Never overfill propane tanks.
It is also advisable to check your grill model for recalls either with the manufacturer or with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. A quick search of their website will tell you if any safety issues or product defects have been reported for your grill.
Safe Grill Operation
Once you have fired up the barbecue, practice good grill safety to prevent dangerous fires. Always grill outdoors at least ten feet away from buildings, furniture, plants and trees. Besides the obvious risk of fire, charcoal grills emit carbon monoxide (CO) which can be deadly in enclosed areas. Open the lid before turning on the gas on propane grills before lighting to prevent explosions.
Charcoal grills should only be started with starter fluids designed for charcoal grills. Never add starter fluid to a fire in progress. Keep starter fluid in a secure area away from pets, children, and flammable objects including candles and torches. Wait until the grill is sufficiently cool before closing or storing it. If you are using coals, soak them in water before disposing.
Never fire up the grill without having an extinguisher nearby. Keep children and pets away from the grill at all times. Never leave the grill unattended. Grills should be used on flat, stable ground and never moved once lit.
What to Do in the Event of a Grill Fire
Even with good preparation and proper safety measures, grill accidents can still happen. If your gas grill catches fire, turn off the burners immediately. Shut off the propane tank valve if you can reach it safely. If your propane tank catches fire, leave the area immediately and call the fire department. If your charcoal grill catches fire, close the lid. Never use water on a grease fire. Instead, use a fire extinguisher. For burns caused by grill fires, gently pour cool water over the area. Do not cover or apply creams or ointments to the burn. Seek medical attention. Call 911 immediately for more serious injuries.
Delaware County Personal Injury Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Injured Victims of Grill Fires
Summer cookouts are a wonderful time to relax and make memories with family and friends. Unfortunately, injuries due to grill fires do happen. Accident victims deserve the skilled representation of a Delaware County personal injury lawyer. Call, or contact us online, the personal injury lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC at 215-569-8488 to arrange a free consultation to determine if you have a valid personal injury claim. McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC serves clients throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.