Grilling Safety Tips from NFPA

As another grilling season kicks off this Memorial Day Weekend, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued a fire safety reminder.

June and July are the peak months for grill fires, with gas grills by far the leading cause of home fires, most of which start in a courtyard, terrace or patio.

ESPN's Hannah Storm, severely burned in a grill fire, shared her story with NFPA to raise awareness of grilling safety and worked with NFPA on this PSA.

Grills should be placed away from any flammable material:  homes, deck railings, eaves and tree branches.

The NFPA recommends testing your gas grill each season before you fire it up to make sure there are no leaks or breaks -- the leading causes of gas grill fires. You should also clean the unit and check it periodically throughout the season. 

To check the gas tank hose for leaks, apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. Gas leaks blow bubbles.

If there's no flame and you can smell gas or if the hose fails the soap bubble test, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced before using it again. If the leak doesn't stop, call the fire department. 

If you smell gas while grilling, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not move the grill. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.

NFPA's grilling recommendations:
  • Use grills only outdoors;
  • Keep children and pets three feet back from the grill area;
  • Clean your grill by regularly removing grease and fat buildup;
  • Never leave the grill unattended;
  • Make sure the lid of your gas grill is open before you light it;
For charcoal grills:

  • If you use starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never squirt charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids on the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid away from children and away from heat sources.
  • When you finish grilling, let the coals cool off completely before disposing them in a metal container.
For more grilling safety tips, visit www.nfpa.org/grilling

NFPA is a global leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. Founded in 1896 with a mission to reduce fire and other hazards worldwide, the international non-profit provides and advocates consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize fire and other hazards, all of which can be viewed free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

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