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Grilling This Summer: How to Avoid Injury

Jul 3rd, 2023

For many, summer is synonymous with grilling out—and understandably so. Few things are more satisfying on a warm summer day than the smell and taste of meat and veggies fresh off the grill. However, it’s not an activity without risk. In fact, according to the NFPA, grill-related injuries account for approximately 22,000 emergency room visits per year, largely burn-related. The good news is that most of these accidents are preventable, and with some proactive measures and mindful practices, you can avoid having your cookout ruined by tragedy. In honor of July being National Grilling Month, let’s review some key safety tips.

Read the Manual

Not to sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many people skip this step. Every grill is different, and understanding its specific operation can prevent accidents. The manual will provide important safety information, setup instructions, and maintenance tips. Using the grill according to manufacturer instructions can help you avert most accidents.

Location, Location, Location

Between gas and charcoal grills, more than 10,000 house fires per year occur due to grilling mishaps, according to the NFPA. Most of these fires happen because the grill was improperly placed. Position your grill in a well-ventilated area, away from overhanging branches, fences, or other flammable objects. Make sure it’s set level on a stable, flat surface to prevent tipping over. Never use a grill indoors or in enclosed spaces, as this poses a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Perform Regular Maintenance

When grills aren’t cleaned after each use, build-ups of food and grease can lead to dangerous flare-ups when the grill is fired up again. You can prevent this by cleaning the grill regularly. Also, before using the grill, check for any signs of rust, cracks, or damage that might make the grill unstable. Finally, if your grill uses propane, inspect the tank and hoses for leaks regularly. Gas leaks can lead to explosions when the stray gas comes in contact with the grill’s heat.

Keep the Kids Away When Grilling This Summer

Children can be fascinated by your work on the grill, but according to the NFPA, nearly half of all grilling injuries happen to children, either due to accidentally bumping the grill, touching hot surfaces, or having a tipped grill fall onto them. Establish and enforce a “no go” zone around the grill to ensure kids don’t get too close.

Dress Appropriately and Use Tools

Loose clothing can easily catch fire, so wear tighter-fitting clothes when grilling. Also, long-handled tools designed for grilling can help you maintain a safe distance from the flames. Make sure they have heat-resistant handles to prevent burns. Finally, consider investing in a pair of long, heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands and arms.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

Having a fire extinguisher on hand is a crucial safety measure. Make sure you know how to use it correctly and that it’s in good working condition. That way, if a mishap does occur, you have an important tool to put out the flames and minimize the threat of more damage or injury.

Following these tips will make your grilling experience safer and happier overall—but unfortunately, not everyone will behave safely around a grill. If you or someone you love is injured in a grill accident due to someone’s negligence, our personal injury attorneys can help you receive any compensation you’re entitled to. Contact us to have us review your case.