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7 Safety Tips for a Safe Summer Grilling Season
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By Member Joe Birch
April 22, 2021

Home grills were involved in an average of 8,900 home fires per year (nationally), including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outdoor fires annually. Leaks or breaks were primarily a problem with gas grills.

Here are 7 safety tips to follow:

1. Grill outside and away from any structures
Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. However, NFPA reports that more than one-quarter (27%) of home fires started by outdoor grills began in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and 29% started on an exterior balcony or open porch. Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when you set up your grill.

2. Make sure your grill is stable
Only set up your grill on a flat surface and make sure the grill can’t be tipped over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your deck or patio.

3. Keep your grill clean
Remove grease or fat buildup from both the grill and the tray below the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, allow the coals to completely cool off before disposing of them in a metal container.

4. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill
Before the season’s first barbecue, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.

5. If the flame goes out, wait to re-light
If you are using a gas grill and the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.

6. Be careful with charcoal starter fluid
If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If the fire starts to go out, don’t add any starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Consider using a charcoal chimney starter, which uses newspaper to start the fire instead of starter fluid.

7. Be ready to put out the fire
Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand next to the grill. Never use water to put out grease fire.

These easy-to-follow tips will help you and your family to enjoy a safe summer barbecuing season.


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Incidents 2019 - - 2021
Jan 20 18 10
Feb 38 16 14
Mar 29 23 20
Apr 18 24 17
May 36 13 21
Jun 31 29 20
Jul 45 33 13
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Sep 26 17
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Nov 23 19
Dec 20 20
Total 350 248 153

Incidents History
Year Calls
2008 246
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2019 350
2020 248
Total 3215

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Franklin Park Volunteer Fire Company #1, Station 158
2360 Rochester Road
Sewickley, PA 15143
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