PKSD Newsletter: Safety Tips While Showing Off Your Grill Skills
Across the country, backyard grills will be busy cooking up celebrations for all kinds of summer fun – from holiday and birthday parties to pool parties, barbecues and more.
Before you light up your grill this year, however, we encourage you to read this month’s edition of the PKSD Newsletter for safety tips on preventing grill fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are approximately 8,900 home fires each year. As many as 22 percent of outdoor gas grill fires are caused by gas leaks or breaks. Charcoal and solid-fueled grills are responsible for causing an additional 1,300 home fires annually.
High Fire Risk
Grills are a convenient way to enjoy cooking outside, but they are also a high fire risk if not carefully monitored. Most fire hazards caused by grills are completely avoidable.
You can read all our tips for safe grilling in this month’s online newsletter, but here are just a few to get you started:
- Always follow your grill manufacturer’s safety instructions for assembly, operation and maintenance
- Only use your grill outside – do not try to set it up or use it inside
- Keep your grill away from any flammable structures, such as a home, garage or shed
- Set up your grill away from other high-risk fire areas, such as grassy lawns or high-traffic areas
- Never leave your grill unmonitored – even for a minute
- Leave the lid open when lighting a propane grill to avoid the risk of an explosion
Safety While You Cook
Setting up the grill and using it in a safe area is only half the battle. While you are cooking, it is important to have some additional tools on hand just in case. For example, keeping an open box of baking soda within reach can help you to quickly get a grease fire under control. Additionally, you should always keep a working fire extinguisher nearby to handle any unexpected fire hazards.
Maintaining and Storing Your Grill
Taking care of your grill and storing it safely is important. For example, never leave a bottle of propane in your car on a hot summer day, even if you think it might be empty.
Other maintenance and storage tips include:
Maintain Your Grill
Grills need regular maintenance like any other piece of equipment. When getting yours out after a long winter, it is a good idea to clean it and check it over for wear and tear issues, such as:
- Cracked or corroded grills
- Hoses that are cracked (if a propane grill)
- Broken fittings
Store Propane Tanks Safely
Never store propane tanks indoors or in an enclosed area, including your garage, a basement, shed or tent, and be sure to secure them before transporting, keeping them in an upright position.
Strange Odors When Turning on Tank
If, after turning on your propane tank supply valve, it smells like a dead animal, skunk or rotten egg, your tank may be leaking. Turn off the supply valve immediately, evacuate the area and call the fire department.
Get grilling this summer, if that is what you enjoy, but remember to take precautions to avoid fire hazards. Residential properties pose an exceptionally high fire risk when it comes to backyard grilling, so do what you can to keep any serious injuries or property damage from spoiling your summer fun.
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