July 04, 2007 Ahhh, the backyard barbeque! Hundreds of families will gather this holiday weekend for a cookout or picnic and enjoy the unique summertime flavor of grilled food. But safety experts remind consumers not to fire up more than the grill this summer.
The National Fire Data Center estimates that backyard barbeques cause about 6,000 fires and 170 injuries each year. Five of those injuries end in death.
It's recommended that grills be placed a minimum of ten feet away from any structure—on level ground to prevent tipping accidents. Designate the grilling area as a 'No Kids/Pets Zone' and keep kids and pets away until the grill equipment is completely cool.
Stay safe by following manufacturer's instructions when using a gas grill. Check hoses for wear and cracking, which could cause leaks. Keep gas hoses away from hot surfaces, and replace damaged connectors.
Always open the grill lid before turning on the gas supply and lighting the ignition. This prevents gas from accumulating inside the grill—thus preventing an explosion that could damage your grill or cause serious injury.
For charcoal grills, only use starter fluid specifically made for barbeque grills. Do not add more fluid after the coals have been lit, and don't wear loose clothing while cooking.
Never bring a barbeque grill indoors, and leave the charcoal in the grill until it's cold to the touch or immersed in water before disposal.
These quick and easy safety tips will help make sure your family picnic doesn't turn into a tragedy that could have been avoided.