Grillmeisters urged to take safety precautions

Jul 18, 2016

Here’s a summer statistic every grillmeister should ponder before the first steaks are scored: there are more grill fires in July than any other month.

The statistic comes from the National Fire Protection Association. The leading cause of these fires? Dirty grills.

Lorraine Carli, the association’s vice president of outreach and advocacy, said failure to wiping away old

Credit National Fire Protection Association

grease causes nearly 20 percent of grill fires.  Cleaning the grill and checking hoses to make sure there’s a good connection and there are no leaks.

“If you do those two things, you have a pretty good chance at having a safe dinner,” Carli told WBFO News.

She also recommended keeping the grill 10 feet away from the house and deck railings to avoid spreading any fire. 

In a typical year, there are nearly 9,000 fires caused by grills, hibachis and barbecues.  Still, Carli said grills have become safer over the years.

“The safety of the propane is much better than it was because you can’t overfill your canisters,” she said. “I think the grills in general are safer. and if people remember these simple safety tips, they’ll have a safe grilling season.”

AAA has also issued some grill safety tips. Experts encourage people to keep a fire extinguisher in close distance and know how use the devise. They also warn backyard chefs to never leave a grill burning unattended.

“Grilling season is a great time to enjoy friends, family, food and the outdoors, but accidents can happen,” said David Weber, vice president of insurance at AAA of Western and Central New York.