Summer’s here, so gather ’round the BBQ for some good eats and family fun – just don’t get too close! Each year more than 16,000 Americans land in hospital emergency rooms because of BBQ grilling accidents. And with 86 percent of U.S. households owning at least one outdoor BBQ, grill or smoker, staying safe this summer is more important than ever. Emergency room doctors are all too familiar with grilling harm, saying people are routinely burned, singed and blistered in accidents caused either by faulty grills or the faulty habits of their operators.
And Coloradans are equally at risk. Earlier this year, 30 people were evacuated and two seriously injured when a Fort Collins apartment building partially collapsed after being set ablaze from a charcoal grill fire that officials believe could have been prevented.
Gary Armstrong, Denver West Metro Fire District Chief, and the Insurance Information Institute offer grillers these top 7 BBQ safety tips to keep you and your family safe this summer:
- Grill placement is probably the most important safety tip. Operate your barbecue on a level surface , away from your house, garage, tree branches and anything combustible. And don’t move the grill once it’s lit.
- Make sure your grill is clean before lighting it up to avoid dangerous grease fires.
- Protect yourself by wearing a heavy apron and oven mitts that reach high on the forearm, and always keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Never leave a lit grill unattended, and always keep children and pets a safe distance away.
- For charcoal grills, use only lighter fluid designed for grilling. Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids, or add more lighter fluid once the fire has started, since this can cause a dangerous fireball.
- When you’re done cooking, remember that the grill can remain hot for hours afterwards. Don’t cover or store your grill until it has cooled, and soak coals with water before throwing them away.
- If a grill accident occurs, injuries should be addressed immediately. Run cool water over minor burns, but do not cover injured areas with bandages, butter or salve. In the case of more serious burns, victims should visit the emergency room or an urgent care facility.
By following these smart tips, you can keep your summer get-togethers safe and fun by avoiding unnecessary injuries, especially since those operating grills may be held responsible for not taking the proper precautions to avoid injury and damage to property.
If you or a loved one were injured due to another’s negligence, immediately contact a Colorado personal injury lawyer to learn about your legal rights and get the justice you deserve.