It's Fourth of July! I'm sure plenty of you will be getting outside today and firing up your backyard grill.
And why shouldn't you? Along with faireworks and chilled watermelon, a backyard grillout is an American tradition!
However – grills, barbecues, and hibachis on residential properties could quickly transform a quiet weekend afternoon into a catastrophic nightmare if a fire occurs.
According to the National Fire Protections Association, there are an average of 8,800 house fires started by gas and charcoal grills in the US each year.
On average, these fires result in 10 deaths, 140 injuries, and $96 million in property damage each year.
If you or someone you love is injured in a residential BBQ fire, then it is quite possible that you are entitled to make a claim for compensation, but it would be far better if such accidents did not occur in the first place.
Here are some common sense tips to help you stop a grill fire from happening at all:
- Follow all instructions and warnings when assembling, setting up, and using your grill – not just the first time, but every time. The number one cause of grill fires is mechanical failure, so it is important that you regularly check your grill and propane tank before each use. Pay particular attention to any corrosion, dents, broken fittings and cracked hoses.
- Always use a grill only in outdoor well-ventilated areas. Never use a grill in a garage or under any sort of eaves or canopy. Avoid setting up too close to any siding, fencing or other flammable material. Also make sure that you are away from any playing fields or other heavily-trafficked areas and that your kids know to stay well away from the grill when in use.
- When using a gas-powered outdoor grill, always keep the lid open when lighting in order to reduce the risk of an explosion. If you smell gas turn off the cylinder valve and immediately extinguish any other flames or smoking material in the immediate areas. Evacuate the area and call the fire department.
- If a grill fire flares up at all it can usually be doused with sprits of water if it is a charcoal grill. (If it’s a gas-grill, then just turn off the gas.) Baking soda can help to control a more serious grease fire, but it is always wise to keep a fire extinguisher nearby whenever you are grilling.
With common sense and a little bit of safety precautions taken ahead of time, you can seriously reduce the risk of a serious fire from occurring.
Stay safe out there and have a great Fourth of July!