It’s no secret that summertime is peak time for fires caused by barbecue grills, but knowing how to prevent and extinguish grill fires can put you one step ahead, possibly saving thousands of dollars in damage to your property. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, there are an average of 8,800 fires caused annually by grills, most of which are from gas grills. These fires caused $96 million in direct property damage. Swift Restoration in Ogden wants you to have a safe summer grilling season.
Practicing proper use of grills and following grilling safety rules can reduce your risk of a fire from your barbecue grill. Follow the guidelines below for a safe grilling season in Ogden.
Charcoal and propane grills should only be used outdoors, and should always be attended when in use. Grill fires are most often started when grilling on a courtyard, terrace, patio, balcony or porch. Avoid grilling on or near a surface that can catch fire, preferably on concrete or another non-flammable hard surface.
Make sure the grill is placed a safe distance from the home and away from any overhanging trees or awnings. Children and pets should be kept away from the grilling area. Clean your grill after use. Once cooled, remove grease from the grills and from the trays below.
While it may be a surprise, gas grills cause the majority of grill fires, and a leaking or broken fuel line is usually to blame. At the start of each grilling season, inspect the gas tank hose for leaks. If you apply a light soap and water solution to the hose and open the valve, bubbles will form wherever there is a leak.
The smell of natural gas is another indication of a leak. If the odor does not go away when the gas is turned off, you should contact your local fire department. If the odor stops when the gas is turned off, you should have you grill serviced before using. If you detect a gas leak while cooking, immediately turn off the gas and evacuate the area near the grill. Always remember to turn the gas off when finished grilling.
Charcoal grills present the greatest fire risk when lighting the grill and after you are finished grilling. When using starter fluid, only use charcoal starter fluid and never try to add starter fluid to an active fire. You can also use newspaper as a starter fuel. Never use gasoline, alcohol or kerosene as a starter fluid for your coals.
After you have finished grilling, the coals must cool completely before being thrown out to prevent a fire. Soak with water, and close the lid and vents tightly. After the coals have cooled dispose of them in a metal container kept a safe distance from your home and other buildings to prevent fires.
Knowing what to do in an emergency situation in which your grill catches fire can mean the difference between a small fire and a major fire. Whenever possible, shut the lid on the grill and shut off the gas if using a gas grill. Get everyone away from the grill, and contact your local fire department.
Grilling is a favorite summertime activity for many, but unfortunately it can turn into a scary and dangerous situation very quickly. Make sure you understand how to properly use your equipment, how to prevent grill fires, and what you should do in the event a fire does occur. Taking a few minutes before grilling to inspect your equipment protects the safety of your family and your property.
Swift Restoration, fire damage professionals, we often see first-hand how devastating fires can be. Please take caution this summer grilling season.