Courtesy of Richard Wachtel and GrillingWithRich.com
Since Memorial Day marks the un-official start of Summer and believe it or not, as much as grilling is a lot of fun doing, it is also somewhat dangerous and could case death, so obviously you should take some measures to keep yourself and your family safe during the summer.
According to The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 8,200 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including an average of 3,400 structure fires and 4,800 outside fires.
These 8,200 fires caused an annual average of 15 civilian deaths, 120 civilian injuries and $75 million in direct property damage.
More than one-quarter (29%) of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, 28% started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and 6% started in the kitchen.
Flammable or combustible gas or liquid was the item first ignited in half of home outdoor grill fires. In 50% of the home outdoor fires in which grills were involved, 55% of the outside gas grills, and 36% of gas grill structure fires, the fire started when a flammable or combustible gas or liquid caught fire.
Following a few basic steps can help ensure safe operation of your barbecue or grill which will yield fun for the whole family. Here are some basic safety tips for both charcoal and gas grills in addition to just some general safety tips.
Charcoal grill safety tips
Tip #1 – Charcoal produces carbon monoxide (CO) when it is burned. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments. To reduce the risk of CO poisoning: Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents or campers. Since charcoal produces CO fumes until the charcoal is completely extinguished, do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.
Tip # 2 – IF and I mean IF you have to use lighter fluid to start your charcoal grill, cap lighter fluid immediately and place a safe distance from grill and never add lighter fluid to coals that are already hot or warm. A great alternative to lighter fluid, use an electric, solid, metal chimney or other starter specifically made for lighting charcoal briquets or wood chunks. So now there is NO REASON to use lighter fluid! It adds unnecessary flavors and it is purely dangerous!
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