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Grill Safely This Summer

Outdoor grilling is one of the most popular ways to cook. Even novices can make a burger taste better by cooking it on a charcoal or gas grill. Whether you have a hibachi you pull out from time to time or a built-in outdoor kitchen or anything in between, here are some statistics and safety steps you can take to ensure a harm-free, tasty time.

The Stats

In the U.S.

  • July (16%) is the peak month for grill fires, followed by June (14%), May (12%) and August (11%).

  • A grill that has not been cleaned is responsible for 20% (one-fifth) of the fires.

  • Over one-quarter (26%) of grill structure fires start on an exterior balcony or open porch - 8% igniting an outside wall and 4% igniting another structural part or framing.

  • Gas grill fires cause an average of 9,079 home fires per year, including 4,454 structure fires and 4,625 outdoor fires annually.

  • Gas or propane leaks or breaks cause 6% of gas grill structure fires and 15% of outside gas grill fires (such as igniting plants or outdoor furniture).

  • According to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 22,155 patients go to emergency rooms annually because of injuries involving grills.

Common Sense Safety Tips

  • For propane grills, check the gas tank for leaks before use. Put a few drops of hand or dish soap in a small spray bottle filled with water and shake the bottle to mix. Turn on your propane and spray the soapy water mixture on all the connection points between the propane tank and your RV. If bubbles appear, you know you have a leak. Do not grill until the leak is repaired.

  • Keep your grill clean! Remove grease or fat buildup from the grills and the trays below the grill.

  • Place the grill well away from your home and deck railings, and make sure it is not underneath eaves and overhanging branches.

  • Don't light a closed grill. The top must be up for safe use.

  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area. A fun way to teach children about grill distance safety is to use an old-fashioned yardstick and have them measure. Keep the yardstick handy when children are around so you can use it as a visual reminder that they will understand. Of course, for that kid who is a bit too mischievous, make sure he/she doesn't put the yardstick in the flames.

  • If grilling charcoal, only use charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to a flame or embers. After grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container.

  • Never leave your grill unattended when in use. If you are warming up a grill, set up a chair nearby and enjoy a drink so you can react quickly if something happens.



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