With barbeque season already here, homeowners should heed the following safety precautions in order to keep their families and property safe. Regardless of the type of grill you have, there are risks for improper use.
- Propane grills present an enormous fire hazard, as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of more than 500 fires that result annually from their misuse or malfunction.
- Charcoal grills pose a serious poisoning threat due to the venting of carbon monoxide (CO). The CPSC estimates that 20 people die annually from accidentally ingesting CO from charcoal grills. These grills can also pose a serious fire hazard, especially by using excessive lighter fluid, failing to monitor the grill while in use, or improperly disposing of ash.
- Electric grills are probably safer than propane and charcoal grills, but safety precautions need to be used with them, as well.
Safety Recommendations for General Grill Use
- Always make sure that the grill is used in a safe place, where kids and pets won’t touch or bump into it. Keep in mind that the grill will still be hot after you finish cooking, and anyone coming into contact with it could be burned.
- If you use a grill lighter, make sure you don’t leave it lying around where children can reach it. They will quickly learn how to use it.
- Never leave the grill unattended, as this is generally when accidents happen.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby.
- Ensure that the grill is completely cooled before moving it or placing it back in storage.
- Ensure that the grill is only used on a flat surface that cannot burn, and well away from any shed, trees and shrubs.
- Clean out the grease and other debris in the grill periodically, and scrape the grill rack to remove baked-on food.
- Be sure to check the unit for rust and other signs of deterioration.
- Don’t wear loose clothing that might catch fire while you’re cooking.
- Use long-handled barbecue tools and flame-resistant oven mitts.
- Keep alcoholic beverages away from the grill; they are flammable!
In summary, homeowners should exercise caution when using any kind of grill, as they can harm life and property in numerous ways.