Cooking outdoors, especially on a propane, LP OR charcoal grill in the backyard has a special appeal. But grilling outdoors can be dangerous, even deadly, unless you take precautions.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2007 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8500 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues – each year. Of these fires, about 3100 per year resulted in structure fires. On average per year, these fires claimed 11 deaths and 133 injuries, and they resulted in annual property damage of $90 million.
Nevertheless, Americans enjoy more than three billion barbecues each year; and, if you are like most Americans, you too enjoy summer grilling. So, the following are some of the most important safety tips to assure that your barbecue is risk-free, whether you do a gas or charcoal grilling.
Safety Tips for Successful Backyard Grilling
- Place your grill on a level surface at least ten feet away from all other objects including structures like your house, garage, etc.; and stay clear of landscaping and traffic areas.
- When grilling is complete, be sure to keep children and pets well away from the grill until it has completely cooled.
- Never grill in an enclosed space including homes, vehicles, tents, campers, garages, etc. This can be a deadly risk both for fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Use only long-handled grilling tools and wear dry oven mitts that cover your forearm to avoid burns when cooking.
- After grilling with charcoal, soak the coals with water and store in a metal container for disposal.
- After cooking on a gas grill, turn off BOTH the grill and the propane bottle.