Summer Safety Tips for Grilling and Fire Pits

Summer’s here and the time is right for grilling and fire pits.  But don’t ruin a perfect summer evening with an avoidable accident or trip to the ER.  Here are some safety tips that will keep your summers low-key and enjoyable, just like they ought to be.

The Grill

According to the National Fire Protection Association, outdoor grilling accounts for nearly 10,000 house and structure fires and an average of 19,000 emergency room visits a year.  And, believe it or not, gas grills cause more fires than charcoal grills.  Here are a few tips to keep your home and your family safe when grilling.

  • Grill outside and away from structures and no, in the garage with the door open doesn’t count!
  • 29% of fires were started on an exterior balcony or open porch. Keep grills well away from homes and railings.
  • Look up ­for tree branches, overhangs, or balconies.
  • Keep your grill clean: Remove grease and drippings from the grill and elements underneath to prevent flare-ups and grease fires.
  • Monitor children to prevent burns and do not wear loose clothing that can catch fire.
  • Check gas grills for leaks. Allow charcoal grills to cool completely before disposing coals in a metal container.
  • Be prepared to put out a fire. Have baking soda handy for grease fires and an extinguisher nearby for other fires.

 

Fire Pits

Backyard fire pits have become more popular in recent years.  But before pulling out the stuff for s’mores, make sure that you are aware of the local rules and weather restrictions in your area before you light a fire.  Unattended or illegal fires can cause serious wildfires like the one in Oroville, California that was started by someone who built an illegal campfire.

  • Build your fire pit on a level surface and at least 10 feet away from your home, fences, trees, or sheds.
  • Keep a close eye on children, pets, and guests to prevent burns. If an adult guest utters the words, “I can do that – hold my beer!” immediately move them a safe distance away from the pit.
  • Do NOT use gasoline, kerosene, or lighter fluid to start a fire. Accelerants can cause a fire to quickly get out of control.
  • Never leave a fire unattended and extinguish the fire with water at the end of the night.
  • Be prepared. Keep a garden hose, sand, or a fire extinguisher nearby in case the fire spreads beyond the pit.

For many, summer cookouts and quiet evenings by the fire pit make for the perfect.  Be sure to follow these tips so you can safely enjoy these times with family and friends.

Have a safe and happy Summer.

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