We still have about a month of summer left. Outdoor grilling season is still in full swing in New York. But outdoor grilling can cause serious injury if people don't follow simple safety rules. Grilling accidents can lead to serious burn injuries, especially for young children who do not understand the dangers of hot coals, lighter fluid, and hot metal grills. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) offers a series of grilling tips to help keep people safe.
GENERAL GRILLING SAFETY TIPS
Many grill safety tips have to do with treating grills with the same respect you would treat any other fire source. Consider these tips when setting up, grilling, and cleaning up after grilling:
- Only use propane and charcoal grills outside.
- Not all outdoor spaces are created equal when it comes to grilling. Make certain the grill is away from the walls of the home, the railings of the deck, out from under any overhanging tree branches or eaves.
- Do not leave the grill unattended.
- Make certain children and pets are kept far away from the grill area
- Always make certain to remove grease and fat buildup from both the trays below the grill, and on the grill itself.
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR GAS GRILLS
The NFPA reports gas grills are involved in almost 8,000 home fires per year. If you smell gas as you are cooking, immediately turn off the gas tank and the burners. Take a moment to evaluate the situation. If you continue to smell gas after turning off the tank and burners, call the fire department. Stay well away from the grill until the fire department comes. Do not attempt to move the grill yourself.
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR CHARCOAL GRILLS
Charcoal grills are associated with 1,300 home fires each year. When using charcoal, only use a charcoal starter fluid. Do not use gas or other flammable liquids to light the charcoal. Additionally, never spray charcoal fluid (or any other flammable liquids) directly into a lit fire. This can be extremely dangerous, as the fire may travel up the stream of the liquid and burn the user. In fact, in half of all outdoor grill fires in the home, flammable or combustible gas or liquid was the first item that caught fire, according to the NFPA.
When the grilling is complete, give the coals plenty of time to cool completely before disposing of the coals. Only dispose of coals in a metal container. Do not put directly into the garbage, even if you think the coals are cool.
GRILLING AND INJURY – STATISTICS TO CONSIDER
May through August are the peak months for unplanned fires caused by grilling, with July leading the list, at 17%. The rest of the breakdown is as follows:
- May 14%
- June 14%
- August 13%
Each year, more than 16,000 people go to the emergency room due to grilling related injuries. Children sustain 1/3rd of all non-fire grill burns. Frequently, these burns occur when someone touches, bumps into or falls onto a grill or grill part.
STAY SAFE THIS SUMMER
At Frost & Kavanaugh, we hope you stay safe this summer. Grilling season is the perfect time to enjoy the company of friends and family. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a grilling accident, please call our office for a consultation at (518) 730-4222. Contact our Troy, New York office today.