Fire Up the Grill, Not Your Home, This Summer – Grill Safety Tips

“Three out of five households own a gas grill” (NFPA); that’s a lot of burgers and hot dogs.  Unfortunately, about 8,800 home fires occur each year as a result of gas grills.  While the “grill masters”Grilling Safety Tips in your home may think they have everything under control, it is more often equipment malfunction (rather than operator error) that causes a fire to break out.  Don’t get us wrong — we love grilled food, and will avoid using a stove/oven whenever possible during the summer months.  But propane gas, fire, dry air and dry grass can be a recipe for disaster if you’re not careful.

Last year we told you about Hannah Storm’s grilling accident.  The ESPN news anchor suffered first and second degree burns to her face, neck, chest and hands in 2012.  Wind blew her grill flames out, but the gas continued.  As she re-lit the grill, the gas ignited into a fireball.  Hannah’s survival story has made her a grill safety advocate.

Even the savviest of grillers may not be aware of a few simple precautions that could save your home from disaster.  In addition to food prep, some easy grilling prep work can ward off most potential grilling dangers.

  1.  Always grill outside, and keep the grill well away from the house, deck railings, overhanging branches and all furniture.
  2. At the start of grilling season, check your propane tank hose for leaks.
    • The NFPA suggests applying a light soap and water solution to the hose.  Turn on the propane.  A propane leak will release bubbles.  If there are bubbles, turn the propane off immediately.  If the leak stops, meaning you no longer smell propane after the gas is shut off, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it.
    • If the leak does not stop, meaning you can still smell propane after turning off the gas, call the fire department and do not touch or attempt to move the grill.
  3. Never use charcoal lighter fluid to try to start a stubborn gas grill.  Ever.
  4. Clean your grill trays regularly.  Make this part of your summer weekend cleaning routine.  The less greasy substance on or around your grill, the better.
  5. Keep pets and children away from the grill.  Most know to keep children away, but a rambunctious pet can knock over a grill and cause tremendous damage.  Keep both your pet and your home safe simultaneously by keeping pets inside until the cooking is done.

Lastly, in the words of our own grilling “authorities”, “It’s not an oven.  You can’t just walk away.”  Supervision is key.  Stay by the grill at all times while it’s on.  And stay safe.

*Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org)

2 thoughts on “Fire Up the Grill, Not Your Home, This Summer – Grill Safety Tips

  1. Great tips to remember when grilling out this summer! You should always make sure that you stay by the grill at all times to ensure you and your family’s safety.

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