Kent Fire Department offers outdoor grilling safety tips
May 7, 2012 · 12:56 PM
As the spring weather slowly begins to change to warmer and sunnier skies, more and more people will bring out gas and charcoal grills to cook on.
Before using that grill, however, the Kent Fire Department issued the following safety tips in a media release to help ensure that your grilling experience is safe and enjoyable.
1. Read the owner’s manual before using any grill: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when assembling and operating a grill to ensure proper use.
2. Inspect the grill before using it: Check the propane bottle for damage; check for cracked or worn gas lines; ensure that the gas line is not in contact with any part of the metal grill.
3. Never use a grill with combustible materials too close: Move grill away from canopies, sun umbrellas, and large plants or trees.
4. Check with apartment management before using a grill: Ensure that there are no restrictions on grill use in multifamily complexes.
5. Keep children away from grilling area: Make a “kid free” zone around grill to protect kids from hot surfaces.
6. Always use a grill outdoors in a well ventilated area: Never use a grill indoors. All grills produce carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas.
7. Alcohol and grilling do not mix: Alcohol affects judgment, coordination, and vision. All important assets needed to use a grill safely. Grill first, drink in moderation afterwards.
8. Use lighter fluid sparingly: More is not always better. Be patient and let the coals heat slowly. NEVER use gasoline to light a grill.
9. Dispose of charcoal ashes safely: Dispose of charcoal ashes after they are cold to the touch in a metal container. Store container away from any combustible materials.
In 2009, 17,700 patients nationwide were seen in emergency rooms due to grilling injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Half of the injuries were from burns and children under the age of 5 accounted for one-fourth of the injuries.
Between 2005-2009, grills caused an average of 8,000 home fires each year leading to 15 deaths annually and $75 million in damages.
A leak or break in a fuel line was the most common cause of gas grill fires.