Experts on fire safety warn that summer is the peak season for grilling-related home fires.
The nonprofit National Fire Protection Association reports that U.S. firefighters responded to an average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues each year between 2009 and 2013. These fires resulted in an average of ten deaths, 160 civilian injuries and $118 million of damage per year, according to the group’s research.
Of those fires, 74 percent involved grills that use propane while eleven percent involved charcoal grills. Among the leading causes were unattended or unmaintained grills, grills that were too close to buildings or grills that were damaged.
To prevent grill-related fires, the NFPA recommends:
Only using propane and charcoal grills outdoors.
Placing the grill well away from homes, deck railings or overhanging branches.
Keeping children and pets at least three feet from the grill.
Cleaning grills to remove grease or fat buildup from the grates and in the trays below.
Never leaving the grill unattended.
Regularly checking propane grills for damage and breaks.