With the start of summer, comes the start of BBQ’s, fire pits and other outdoor activities. When the warmer weather hits, there’s nothing better than the smell of food on the grill. According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, seven out of every 10 adults in the U.S. have a grill or smoker. Grills make great food, but also bring an increased risk of home fires and injuries.
Grill fires cause an estimated $37 million in property loss each year.
- Almost half of home grill fires happen between 5 and 8 p.m.
- Fifty-seven percent of home grill fires occur during the months of May, June, July and August.
- Patios, terraces, screened-in porches and courtyards are leading home locations for grill fires.
- Seventy-nine percent of all home grill fires involve gas grills.
- “Mechanical failure, malfunction” is the leading factor in the start of grill fires. Leaks or breaks of containers or pipes are often to blame.
FEMA offers the following tips for grill safety:
- Only use grills outdoors, away from siding and deck railings.
- Clean grills often and remove grease or fat build-up.
- Make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting.
- Have a 3-foot safe-zone around grills and campfires. Keep kids and pets away from the area.
- Dispose of coals after they have cooled in a metal can.
- Never leave grills, fire pits and patio torches unattended.