Fall might be near, but that does not mean the end of grilling season. Labor Day is one of the busiest grilling days of the year. It is also a busy day for hospitals and burn units due to grill-related injuries. Grilling safely takes a few tips and best practices, whether this is your first time using a charcoal or propane grill or you are a seasoned expert. Prevent serious burn injuries at your next cookout with a few proven safety tips for our burn injury attorneys.
Do Not Grill Near Your Home
Keep your barbecue grill or smoker a safe distance away from your home. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports an average of more than 10,000 grill-related home fires each year. These fires cause a yearly average of 160 injuries, 10 deaths and over $100 million in property damages. Do not place your grill alongside your house or under any eaves or branches. Turn your gas grill completely off or close the lid to smother a charcoal grill when you finish grilling. Wait for the coals to cool, then dispose of them in a metal container.
Keep Children Away
The grill is not a toy. Teach children to stay at least three feet away from a grill at all times. Children are often unaware of the risks of burn injuries and may touch hot grills or play too close to them. Keep children and pets a safe distance away from the grill at all times. Make it a rule in your home to always avoid the grill, but keep an extra lookout while grilling. Never leave your grill unattended, especially with children around.
Stabilize Your Grill
A charcoal or propane gas grill collapsing in the middle of your cookout could be disastrous. An unstable grill that is sitting at a dangerous angle, has a broken leg or is propped up on a precarious stand could pose serious safety risks. Place your grill on a strong, flat surface where it has no risk of tipping over. If you choose to grill in the grass to protect your deck, consider using a grill pad beneath the grill on your deck instead for better stability.
Beware of Gas Leaks
If you use a propane gas grill, be wary of potential line leaks. If you smell strange odors that could be gas while grilling, turn your grill off and immediately move to a safe place while you call the fire department. Do not try to move the grill or fix the leak. Check your gas lines at least once a year for leaks. Do this by rubbing the line down with soapy water. Look for bubbles that form in the soap; this could be a sign of a gas leak. Ignored gas leaks could ultimately cause a tragedy such as a fire or explosion, along with serious gas grill burn injuries.
Never Add Lighter Fluid to a Fire
If you need flammable fluids to get your charcoal grill going, use only charcoal starter fluid. Add the fluid to your coals in the beginning, before you light them. Never add lighter fluid, charcoal fluid or other flammable liquids to your grill when a flame is already going. This could lead to a large or uncontrollable fire, along with burn injuries or explosions.
Trust the Professionals for Repairs
A propane grill that will not light could still be releasing gas. If your grill does not light or experiences another problem, call a professional. Call the fire department if you believe your propane grill is leaking gas. Otherwise, contact a grill repair professional to inspect your appliance and make the appropriate repairs. Gas grills cause more burn injuries than charcoal grills, according to NFPA statistics. Never attempt propane grill repairs yourself – especially if you suspect a gas leak.
Wear Smart Grill Clothing
Do not wear loose clothing that could hang down into the grill or catch fire while grilling. Tuck in your shirttail and wear sleeves that hug your arms. Be careful of dangling apron strings as well. Help prevent burn injuries by using fire-resistant gear such as Kevlar grilling gloves. Most grill-related burn injuries are thermal burns from contact with a hot grill surface.