Charcoal or Gas?
Nearly 9,000 home fires a year involve grills, according to a National Fire Protection Association report. Of all the home fires involving grills, gas-fueled grills accounted for four out of five fires, while 16% involved charcoal or other solid-fueled grills. Gas and charcoal grills each have ardent advocates, who praise the convenience of gas or the flavor of charcoal. Whichever your preferred grilling method, follow these safety considerations.
Gas Grill Safety
A leak or break was the leading factor contributing to gas grilled-related fires, according to the NFPA report.
- Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
- Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose,which will quickly reveal escaping gas by releasing bubbles.
- If you smell or otherwise suspect a gas leak, and these is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get a professional to service it before using it again. Call the fire department if the leak does not stop.
- If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
- Never turn on the gas when the lid is closed. The gas may build up inside, and when ignited, the lid could blow off and cause injuries or burns.
- After cooking, make sure you completely close the valve on your gas grill.
- Always store gas grills - propane tanks - outside and away from your house.
Charcoal Grill Safety
The leading cause of structure fires from use of charcoal grills was leaving or placing an object that could burn too close to the grill, according to the NFPA study.
- Charcoal grills can continue to remain hot for many hours after the flames extinguish. Avoid placing any burnable objects near the grill or moving the grill while the coals are hot. Keep combustible items that may be blown by the wind away from the grill.
- Check for rust damage in metal grills, which may make it possible for charcoal to fall through onto surfaces below and cause a fire.
- Purchase the proper starter fluid. Store out of reach from children and away from heat sources.
- Do not add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited. Never use any other flammable or combustible liquid to get the fire started.
- If the fire is too low, rekindle with dry kindling and more charcoal if needed. Avoid adding liquid fuel because it can cause a flash fire.
- DO not leave the grill unattended.
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