Safety is probably the furthest thing from your mind, especially when you get a whiff of the grill?s enticing aromas, but it shouldn?t be shrugged off. Of course, it?s easy to shrug off safety and injury prevention, especially when the brews and cocktails are nearby and oh so refreshing on a steamy day. So, check out some of these sobering statistics from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), on grill-related fires and injuries (between 2005 and 2009):
-Gas (a.k.a. propane) grills are the most dangerous, and caused about 6,900 home fires. Charcoal grills are a bit safer, and caused about 1,100 home fires.
-Fires involving grills (all types) caused almost 3,500 building fires, and even more outdoor fires.
-A disturbing 15 fatalities, 120 injuries and $75 million in damages were reported.
-In half of the outdoor fires and 36% of the building fires, the cause of the fire was flammable or combustible gas or liquid catching fire.
Common sense grill safety tips (all types):
Use outdoors only (ummm?really?)
Position it far away from buildings, railings, eaves and trees
Ban the tykes and Fido from the grilling area
Clean the fat and grease off the grill and surrounding trays, to avoid ignition
Use long-handled grilling tools (the further you are from the flames, the better)
Guard the grill at all times
Safety with gas:
If you smell gas while grilling, you may have a gas leak. So, step away from the grill (without moving it) and call the fire department.
Safety with charcoal:
Use charcoal starter fluid only
Don?t add charcoal starter fluid or other flammable liquids once the fire is ignited
Keep all flammable liquids away from the grill
After grilling, make sure the coals are unquestionably cool before ditching them
Now that you?ve completed your crash course in grill safety and injury prevention, get your grill on this weekend! But if your guests are getting all up on your grill, tell them to back off for safety?s sake?