May 15, 2014 – As Memorial Day Weekend approaches kicking off the unofficial start of summer, backyard chefs everywhere are dusting off their grills, eager to spring into the long-awaited barbeque season. This summer, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that grillers pay particular attention to safety, especially in June and July, when home fires involving grilling incidents occur most often.
According to a 2013 NFPA report on cooking equipment fires, gas grills were involved in an annual average of 7,200 home fires in 2007-2011, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were responsible for an annual average of 1,400 home fires. While gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts, NFPA reminds everyone that all types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries. More than one-quarter (27 percent) of home structure grill fires started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, while 29 percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and six percent began in the kitchen, according to the report.
“Grilling season is a great time of year for friends and families to have cookouts and tailgate, but before starting the season, be sure your grill is working properly and review safety tips,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA. “Propane gas hose leaks or breaks were the leading factors contributing to gas grill fires. It is good practice to check for damage before using it for the first time each year, and to clean and check the entire grill regularly.”
Last year, Hannah Storm, ESPN SportsCenter anchor, was severely burned in a grill fire at her home. She has since worked with NFPA to record several videos to share her story and raise awareness for grilling safety in hopes that others will avoid similar incidents.
When grilling, NFPA suggests the following:
Additional grilling safety tips to consider:
Charcoal grill safety tips to consider:
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