Safety Tips For Grilling Outdoors
Published: May 27th, 2024
By: Kelli Miller

Safety tips for grilling outdoors Marcelo Trevino, left, and Arturo Gutierrez of the Sociedad Mexicano de Parrillieros team check food on the grill at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, Friday, May 17, 2024, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

NORWICH — Tis the season to pull out the barbecue grills and crank up the fire. But before that, take some precautionary steps to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

The Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) recommends that all New Yorkers follow some basic rules and tips to avoid accidents and injuries. They also urge everyone to never hesitate to call for help when needed. 

City of Norwich Fire Chief Jan Papelino noted the following safety tips:

Inspect your grill prior to each grilling seasons use to assure the grates, burners and regulator/hose are in good condition.

Do not place your grill near any structures or combustible materials.

Be certain that your grill is on a level area and that it is stable.
Only use a grill outside. If on a porch or deck, there should be no overhang.
Keep children and pets away from the grill during use until it cools down.
Assure all connections to the fuel source are tight and there are no leaks for propane or NG grills.
Gas grills should be lit with the lid open.
 Clean you grill after each use and don't let grease build up.
Check the grease pan/cup regularly and empty as needed.
Have a spray bottle of water available for minor flare ups.
If using a charcoal grill, never add starter fluid to coals that are already lit.
Gas grills should have the tank valve shut-off after each use.
Do not leave a grill unattended during use.
“Certainly, flare-ups from grease fires, loose fitting connections and placement of a grill too close to flammable materials are the major causes of fires from grills,” said Papelino.

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“Burns from touching a hot grill or side burners being utilized for boiling water or cooking in a pan are concerns as well,” he added.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 10,600 home fires are started by grills each year on average.

Emergency departments nationwide have seen a significant rise over the past decade in the number of visits from grilling injuries, with approximately  19,700 annual emergency room visits because of injuries involving grills, including 9,500 thermal burns.

Consumer research from the NFPA found that May, June, July and August are peak months for grill fires.

Founded in 1872, the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) represents the interests of the approximately 90,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York State. 

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