As barbeque season nears, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) urges grillers to be particularly mindful of cooking safety in the spring and summer months, when grilling fires most often occur.
According to NFPA’s latest report, three out of five households own a gas grill. From 2009-13, an annual average of 8,900 home fires involved grills, hibachis or barbecues, and almost half of all grilling injuries involved thermal burns. Although nearly half of people grill year-round, grilling fires peak in July, followed by May, June, and August.
Gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills, but all types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries. According to the NFPA report, over 27 percent of home grill fires started on an exterior balcony or open porch, another 27 percent started in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and eight percent began in the kitchen.
Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA, said the leading causes of home grilling fires are failing to properly clean the grill or having a flammable object too close.
The following grilling tips are suggested:
• Propane and charcoal barbecue grills should only be used outdoors.
• The grill should be placed away the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
• Children and pets should be at least three feet away from the grill area.
• Clean the grill by removing grease and fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
• Never leave a grill unattended.
For additional information, visit www.nfpa.org/grilling.