Memorial Day weekend is the official kick off of barbecue season -- that all-American summer pastime that so many of us look forward to year after year. To keep your family and friends safe from harm this holiday and throughout the summer grilling months, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has some important must-know safety tips which are worth reviewing. NFPA, by the way, is the same organization that brought us the lovable and kid friendly interactive Sparky the Fire Dog site that educates children about fire safety.
|I love grilling corn on the cob grilling on our backyard Hibachi grill|
The statistics drive home this urgent message since people using gas grills suffered an average of 7,100 home fires per year between 2006 and 2010. Those using charcoal or another type of solid fuel for their grills fared somewhat better, but still they averaged about 1,200 home fires annually during the same period. Some of those involved in these preventable fires caused by gas and charcoal grills escaped unharmed while others suffered minor to serious injuries and some tragically were killed.
The NFPA Public Service Announcement PSA below features Hannah Storm, the ESPN SportsCenter anchor who was severely burned in a home grill fire in December 2012. By telling her real life story, she hopes to raise public awareness about grilling safety, preventing as many accidents and injuries as possible this summer.
NFPA offers these guidelines to make barbecuing safer
- Only barbecue outdoors whether you are using a propane or charcoal grill
- Place the grill away from the home and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches as well as away from any overgrowth or anything else that could go up in flames
- Always check your equipment before the first BBQ of the year for line breaks and gas tank leaks, then keep it properly cleaned and free of excess grease as well as maintained all season
- Stay with your grill when the fire is going, never leave it unattended
- While cooking if you smell gas, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department -- Do not move the grill
- If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it
- For a charcoal grill use only charcoal starter fluid, not any other flammable liquid, before you light it and never add fuel to a burning fire
- Keep charcoal lighter fluid out of reach of children; also keep kids away from hot surfaces and heat sources at all times
- When finished grilling, always allow coals to cool off completely before throwing them into a fire-resistant metal container
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. For more information on barbeque safety visit www.nfpa.org/grilling. To keep up to date on the latest news and information you might also want to follow NFPA like I do on Twitter and Facebook.
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