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What can I do to prevent grill fires and injuries?

According to the FEMA US Fire Administration (USFA), outside cooking grills cause more than 170 injuries each year and $35 million in property damage and loss. Gas leaks, blocked tubes and overfilled propane tanks are to blame for about half of all property loss and injuries. In order to prevent injuries and property loss at your home this year, take into consideration the following tips from the USFA for preventing grill fires:

  • Before cooking, check the connection between the fuel line and the propane tank. Make sure the tubes - where air and gas mix - are not blocked.
  • Do not overfill the propane tank.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue. Be sure to wear a heavy apron and grill mitts that cover your arm up to your elbow.
  • Use caution when handling lighter fluid. Do not add lighter fluid to an existing fire because the flames can cause an explosion.
  • Keep all lighters and matches away from children. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
  • When disposing of hot coals - douse them with plenty of water to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
  • Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas ? deadly carbon monoxide could be produced and inhaled.

In Case of Emergency

If you get burned run cool water over the burn for 10-15 minutes. Never put a greasy ointment on the burn as it will trap heat in the wound and cause further blistering. In the case of a serious burn, call 911 for emergency medical assistance.

Statistical Data Source: U.S. Fire Administration. Summer Fire Safety. http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/all_citizens/home_fire_prev/holiday-seasonal/summer.shtm

Last Updated: July 15, 2009

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