The height of barbeque season is just around the corner, with the Fourth of July arriving next week. But last year, nearly 18,000 people were sent to U.S. emergency rooms because of grilling-related accidents, according to estimates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. At least six people died, all from serious burns sustained when they squirted too much or the wrong kind of fuel on grill fires, or when their clothes were torched by barbecue flames.
The leading cause of injures and fire from gas grilling is leaking fuel lines. Improperly connected hoses, cracked or broken hoses, misaligned venturi tubes can release unlit propane that can quickly build up and cause an explosion.
Emergency doctors nationwide are familiar with the dangers of grilling. Statistics for emergency room visits show that barbecuers are routinely burned, singed and blistered in accidents caused either by faulty grills or bad decisions by their operators.
As outdoor cooking season heats up, keep these grilling safety tips in mind:
• Never use a grill indoors due to carbon monoxide (CO) and fire hazards.
• Use the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building. Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that will burn.
• Always follow the instructions that accompany the grill.
• Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher nearby.
• Never leave a grill unattended.
• If a flare-up occurs, adjust the controls on the gas grill or spread out the coals on a charcoal grill to lower the temperature.
• If a grease fire occurs, turn off the gas grill and use baking soda and or a kitchen fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
• Keep children away from the grill. The outside surface of the grill can get hot and cause burns when touched.
• Make sure there are no lighted cigarettes, matches, or open flames near a leaking grill.
For more safety tips, see Fire It Up Safely, provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.