With barbecue season here, grill masters are reaching for their spatulas, eager to usher in the long-awaited cooking season. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) urges grillers to be mindful of cooking safety during the spring and summer months when grilling fires occur most often.
According to NFPA’s latest “Home Grill Fires” report, three out of five households own a gas grill. From 2009-2013, an annual average of 8,900 home fires involved grills, hibachis or barbecues, and almost half of all grilling injuries involved thermal burns. Although many people grill year-round, grilling fires peak in July, followed by May, June and August.
While gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills, NFPA reminds everyone that all types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries. According to the report, 27 percent of home grill fires started on an exterior balcony or open porch. Another 27 percent started in a courtyard, terrace or patio. Only eight percent began in the kitchen.
As you get ready to grill this season, here are a few tips from the NFPA:
- Don't use propane or charcoal grills indoors
- Place grills away from your home and deck railings
- Keep kids and pets at least three feet away from the grill area
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the grates and trays
- Never leave your grill unattended
For additional information, visit the NFPA's website or contact the Carbondale Fire Department at (618) 457-3234.