Grilling Fires Peak in July
SERVPRO® Alerts Local Grill Masters: Grilling Fires Peak in July
Fire and water clean-up professionals offer Glenview and Northbrook area homeowners tips for safe outdoor cooking
The summer grilling season is here and outdoor cooking and socially-distanced picnic gatherings are a welcome change for families eager to get out and enjoy the warm weather. As families and friends prepare their next outdoor feast, Jeff Thompson of SERVPRO® of Glenview, a local fire and disaster remediation specialist, urges area property owners to keep in mind some sobering grilling fire facts from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
- Gas grills, hibachis, and barbeques are involved in an average of nearly 9,000 home fires each year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outdoor fires. Charcoal and other solid-fueled grills contribute to another 1,300 home fires per year.
- An average of 19,700 patients each year visit emergency rooms because of injuring involving grills. Nearly half (9,500 or 48%) of the injuries are thermal burns from fire (about 4,300) and from contact with hot objects (about 5,200). Children under age five account for an average of 2,000 of those contact-type burns.
- July is the peak month for grill fires (18%), including both structure, outdoor, or unclassified fires, followed by June (15%), May (13%), and August (12%).
"According to the NFPA, three out of five households own a gas grill - and gas grills are the chief culprit in home grilling fires," says Thompson. "And while grill-related fires peak between May and August, nearly half of home grillers use their grills year-round." Thompson shares the following advice from the NFPA with Glenview-area homeowners to help ensure that the only smoke coming from their outdoor feast is from their grill - and not from a property fire.
- Use your propane or charcoal grills OUTDOORS only! Place your grill away from your home or deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area. Never leave your grill unattended!
- Keep your grill clean. Remove a grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
- Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
- If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least five minutes before re-lighting it.
- A charcoal chimney uses newspaper as a fuel to start the charcoal. If you use a starter fluid instead, use only charcoal starter fluid. If you use an electric charcoal starter, make sure to use an extension cord rated for outdoor use.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire once it is lit and going!
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before transferring them to a metal container for disposal. NEVER throw coals or ash away without allowing them to cool completely!
"Even if no one is injured, a home fire is a devastating event. It can destroy not just property but priceless memories and create chaos in the aftermath," said Thompson. "Cleaning-up after a fire can feel overwhelming because it often involves smoke and water damage beyond the damage from the fire and flames. While we hope that these guidelines will help Glenview-area homeowners have a safe, fire-free grilling season, accidents can and do happen. If you do experience a structure fire, our SERVPRO®-trained professionals can help you get on the road to normal by managing clean-up efforts and helping with insurance and recovery. When disaster strikes, our goal, as always, is to make it seem "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO® specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration services and repair services, helping to remediate danger for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO® of Glenview, please contact Jeff Thompson at 847-832-9300. For more information on SERVPRO, please view our services on our home page, www.SERVPROglenview.com.