Grilling Safety

The U.S. fire department responds 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 deaths, 120 injuries and $70 million in direct property damage. To make sure your next barbecue doesn't go up in flames, the Home Safety Council recommends the following safety tips:

  • Check the tank hose on a gas grill at the beginning of the grilling season by applying a light soap and water solution to it. If you see bubbles, there's a leak. Turn off the grill and have it serviced. If the leak doesn't stop when the tank is shut off, call the fire department.
  • Check tubes going to the burner for blockages caused by insects or grease.
  • Clean grease out of trays below the grill to prevent uncontrolled flame-ups.
  • Designate the grilling area a 'No Play Zone', keeping kids and pets well away until grill equipment is completely cool.
  • Before using, position your grill at least 3 feet away from other objects, including the house and any shrubs or bushes.
  • Only use starter fluid made for barbecue grills when starting a fire in a charcoal grill.
  • Before using a gas grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to be sure it is working properly and not leaking.
  • Never use a match to check for leaks. If you detect a leak, immediately turn off the gas and don't attempt to light the grill again until the leak is fixed.
  • Never bring a barbecue grill indoors or into any unventilated space. This is both a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning hazard.

For additional information and resources to help you learn more and stay safe in and around your home, please visit www.homesafetycouncil.org.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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