You know what those warm breezes mean: it’s grilling season! Spring and summer usher in the perfect opportunities to spend time outdoors, barbecuing, grilling, and spending time with family and friends. As with any fun-filled activity, accidents can still happen — take a look at some of our safety tips to make this season nothing but enjoyable.
Watch Out For Contact Burns
Over the past few years, an average of 19,000 patients per year went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills, the most common of which are burns. Alarmingly, children under the age of five tend to account for nearly 40% of that demographic.
These types of injuries occur when people bumped into, touched, or even fell on the grill. Setting strict safety rules when the grill is on can go a long way — never lean over the grill while cooking, or move the grill while it is still on or in use.
Of those aforementioned hospital visits, many were the result of grill fires, which are also more common than you might think. The National Fire Protection Association reports that over the past few years, fire departments went to an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outside or unclassified fires. Most of these occurred in July, peak grilling season, but these kinds of accidents can happen at any time (as June and August’s stats attest).
Check For Gas Leaks
Gas grills led the majority of the fires (accounting for nearly 10,000 home fires in America in just one year), while charcoal grills and smokers led to more than a thousand, some of which affected both homes and public land.
To avoid fires, especially fires that become uncontainable, check for leaks at the beginning of the season. Also take note of your propane tank: are there any cracks, or places that bear visible damage?
Create Good Habits
Beyond just equipment, it’s also worth implementing best practices to avoid accidents that stem from negligence. Make a habit of not leaving the grill unattended. Make sure the fire and flame are completely extinguished when you’re done cooking up a feast.
Although it’s worst-case scenario, be prepared if a fire does start — having a fire extinguisher nearby can make all the difference when it comes to preventing property damage or allowing a fire to spread to your home.
By implementing simple protocol like this, you can make sure you and your loved ones don’t become a statistic and join the many people visiting emergency rooms every year for burn-related injuries. However, if accidents occur, know you have a partner in us and always remember that you can give the team at Bart Durham Injury Law a call 24/7.