Summertime means the season of outdoor get-togethers and backyard grilling. It’s a fun time to soak up the sun and enjoy delicious food straight off the grill. Among all the fun, though, it’s so important for property owners to keep in mind the risks involved with using open flames in order to best protect their property and those on it.
In our last post, we talked about electrical safety on your property. This time, we have another cautionary post for the benefit of many.
Accidents that happen each year from grilling lead to 3,000 people being taken to the emergency room and are also the causes of more than 8,300 fires, according to Underwriters Laboratories. Not only that, but improper grilling precautions can damage your property. The U.S. Fire Administration has estimated $37 million of property loss resulting from grill fires happens every year. The most common places where grill fires happen include areas like patios and screened-in porches.
The best way to stay safe during summer grill days is by educating yourself and your tenants on what cautions to take. This can go a long way in preventing injury and costly property damage.
1. Always Watch the Grill
It’s important to always make sure someone is tending to the grill. This may seem extreme, but the truth is that it only takes a few seconds for a grill fire to start. Within a couple minutes, a lapse in attention could lead to burns from a sudden, uncontrolled fire.
2. Be Cautious with Lighter Fluid
Be sure to not add lighter fluid to a fire that is already lit, as this can potentially cause the container to explode. Also be careful to keep the lid of the grill open when lighting it to keep the gas fire from building up.
3. Look for Leaks Before Grilling
If using a gas grill, make sure the areas where the hose of the propane tank connects to the cylinder, regulator, and burners are tightened and not leaking. If there’s a leak, you may be able to smell it, but you can also perform a test for leaks by creating a solution of light soap and water and applying it to the hose with a spray bottle or brush. If you see bubbles around the hose, you have a leak.
4. Be Aware of Distances
Make sure the grill stays a safe distance from structures that could catch fire, like the sides of house and railings on decks. And don’t ever grill close to garages or indoors.
You also want to make sure people stay a safe distance from the grill, even the person who is grilling. Obviously you need to be close for the actual grilling, but when you aren’t flipping items, keep a safe distance. Also be sure not to wear loose-fitting clothes that could easily catch fire.
5. Make Sure the Fire is out When Done
After grilling, douse the coals with enough water to be sure that the fire has been put out properly. And dispose of coals using metal containers—never materials like paper, plastic, or wood.
Making the time to stay educated on tips for staying safe during grilling will give you as a property owner better piece of mind and ensure everyone has a safe, fun summer season.