There’s nothing like hanging out with family and friends while grilling in your backyard. However, before you fire up that grill, you may want to know a few things about outdoor home grill fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report, 70% of homes in the US own at least one outdoor grill, BBQ, or smoker and, unfortunately, roughly 10,200 home fires every year are started by grills, with about 19,000 patients being rushed to the emergency room. That said, let’s take a look at outdoor grilling safety tips you should follow to avoid being part of this statistic:
Location, Location, Location
First off, you’ll want to put your grill somewhere safe, i.e. somewhere that doesn’t have anything flammable nearby such as trees, vines, leaves, wooden or cloth furniture and structures, as well as your deck railing. You should be grilling somewhere that gives you enough space to move around, as well. Most people tend to do their grilling on their wooden decks (which is a fire hazard in itself) where everyone else is hanging out. If you ever have to grill on top of a wood deck, it’s essential to be extra careful in doing so, and it’s highly recommended that you have a fire rated decking installed to give yourself more peace of mind when grilling.
Don’t Live the Grill Unattended
A lot of grill fires and other accidents occur when people leave their working grills unattended. Pets or children can end up bumping into and knock over the grill, or get injured after getting into contact with the hot part of the grill. Both pets and children must be supervised as well as the grill to avoid any incidents. Somehow related, it’s best to keep people who have had one too many beers outside the grilling zone, and also to not have the one in charge of grilling drink too much.
Clean Your Grill Before and After Use
This is more of a health issue than a fire safety issue, but the fire hazard is still ever-present. Failing to clean your grill would end up having old, rancid, and charred-up leftover food from the last grilling session to adhere to the food you’ll be cooking next. Additionally, grease and fat buildup could increase the risk of flare-ups and other fire-related injuries.
Don’t Grill Too Many Food Items At The Same Time
We get it; you’d want to serve as much food as possible and keep the party going. However, you’ll want to limit the amount of food (particularly fatty ones) you grill at once. Too much fat and oil dripping can result in a flare-up, so take it slow and easy by cooking in small batches.
Be Prepared For Fire
Even with all these safety measures in place, it’s always a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case a fire ever breaks out. Never use a hose to put out a grease fire as it’ll just make things worse. Don’t forget to keep a first aid kid handy, as well.
Outdoor grill fires are more common than you think, which is why you need to follow these safety tips to prevent home grill fires and related accidents from happening.