Be sure to use safe grilling practices as the peak months for grilling fires approach – June and July. Gas grills constitute a higher risk, having been involved in an annual average of 6,200 home fires in 2004-2008, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in an annual average of 1,300 home fires.
In these videos, Ted Lemoff, former NFPA principal gas engineer, provides some key safety tips for both gas and charcoal grills.
Facts & figures
In 2004-2008, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 7,700 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including an average of 3,200 structure fires and 4,500 outside fires. These 7,700 fires caused an annual average of 13 civilian deaths (to the nearest ten), 120 civilian injuries and $70 million in direct property damage.
More than one-quarter (29%) of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, 28% started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and 7% started in the kitchen.
Flammable or combustible gas or liquid was the item first ignited in half of home outdoor grill fires. In 49% of the home outdoor fires in which grills were involved, 56% of the outside gas grills, and 39% of gas grill structure fires, the fire started when a flammable or combustible gas or liquid caught fire.
NFPA SAFETY TIPS
Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.
Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.