Raked over the Coals?


With the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day weekend, coming up, we thought that a bulletin concerning grill safety would be relevant prior to your big weekend cook-out.  

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) last April concluded a 5 year study on grilling related fires, and the results were pretty startling.  




Some of the interesting stats were: 

  • US Fire Departments respond to an average of 6,500 grill fires each year
  • Grill fires results in a yearly average of: 10 deaths and 160 reported injuries, primarily burns.
  • 16,600 patients were treated in emergency rooms in 2014 due to injures resulting from grills
  • 33% of grill burn injuries requiring emergency room visit were from children under 5 years old
  • Grill fires resulted in $27 million in direct property damage


The leading causes of grill fires were:

  • Having the grill too close to something that could catch fire
  • Failure to clean grill
  • Leaving grill unattended
  • For gas grills, a leak or break in a line (43% of grill fires are causes by mechanical malfunction)


Keep from becoming a statistic! How? Do the following:

  • Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house, the further the better. This includes structures attached to your house like: carport, garage, porch, even over-hanging roofs.
  • Clean your grill frequently. Remove grease and fat build-up. Both provide more fuel for the fire. Grease is the source of uncontrollable flare-ups during grilling.
  • Check for gas leaks. Mix in a spray bottle a solution of half liquid dish detergent and half water. With the gas turned off at the propane tank, spray the solution on the hoses and connections. Turn gas on and look for bubbles. Bubbles in your lines or connections indicate leaks from the hoses or connections that need tightening.
  • Keep decorations, combustibles, and flammable liquids away from the grill. Holiday decorations, leaves and lighter fluids are common causes of grill fires.
  • Have a full spray bottle of water beside grill. The spray bottle can be used to extinguish flare-ups and as a side benefit can keep those burgers from burning.
  • Ensure that a fire extinguisher is handy and use it only if you know how. If you are unsure how to use an extinguisher don’t waste time, call 911.

Finish off your summer in safe style!

For more ideas and info, check this edition of Wachs Weekly!