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NFPA Offers Grilling Safety Tips


Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is offering grilling tips, recommendations, and resources for a safer holiday.

The association reports that between 2017 and 2021, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 11,421 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues, including 5,763 structure fires and 5,659 outside or unclassified fires.

“These numbers highlight the risks that outdoor grilling presents,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA. “Still, there’s no reason to avoid grilling during Memorial Day or having summer cookouts. By following simple safety precautions, people can significantly reduce the risk of potential injury or experiencing a grilling fire.”

To have a safer holiday weekend, the association offers a wealth of tips, recommendations, and resources for grilling safely, including its NFPA Podcast episode on grilling safety, a blog on fire code grill requirements, and an additional video on some lesser-known grilling safety tips.

Some key recommendations:

  • For propane grills, check the gas tank for leaks before use in the months ahead.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Place the grill well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area.
  • If you use starter fluid when charcoal grilling, only use charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. When you are finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing in a metal container.
  • Never leave your grill unattended when in use.

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