Don't let easily avoidable safety hazards get in the way of your summer fun. Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a global safety science company, recommends that families follow simple grilling safety guidelines to prevent a tragedy from occurring.
Whether you use a charcoal or gas grill, at home or at a campsite, there's nothing that screams summer like cooking food outdoors with a beer (or mocktail!) in hand. But according to the National Fire Protection Agency, between 2005–2009, fire departments across the U.S. responded to 8,200 home fires per year that were the result of grills, barbecues, or hibachis.
Most of these fires involved a gas grill. UL says that the leading contributor in these gas grill fires is typically a leak or break in hoses. Charcoal grill fires, on the other hand, are more often caused when something flammable is placed too close to the grill.
UL's top tips include:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests:
If your grill catches fire, immediately close the lid, which should help to suffocate the flames. If it's a gas grill and you are able, then turn off the gas and, if possible, the gas tank. If the flames are serious, try to put them out with a fire extinguisher while someone calls the fire department ASAP. Better to be safe than sorry!
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