Health & Safety

July 20, 2012

Critical Days of Summer

Stay safe while grilling

by Senior Airman Melanie Holochwost
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The siding of a house is damaged due to a grill fire. From 2005 to 2009, firefighters responded to more than 8,000 grill-related house fires. In 2009, more than 17,700 people were treated in emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills.

Top 10 grilling safety tips

10. Use long-handled utensils to avoid burns and spatters

9. Wear flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents

8. Use baking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher nearby

7. Ensure electrically powered accessories are properly grounded in accordance with local codes

6. Prior to lighting a gas grill, be sure to open the lid to prevent a gas buildup

5. Never attempt to move a hot grill

4. Keep grill at least 10 feet away from a house or building

3. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill

2. Only use the grill outdoors, in open areas away from enclosures or overhangs

1. Never leave a hot grill unattended


Propane grills

❏ Make sure propane tanks aren’t leaking

❏ When cooking is completed, turn off fuel supply, then the burners

❏ Store propane cylinders upright and in areas where temperatures won’t exceed 120 degrees


Charcoal grills

❏ Lightly soak coals 15 minutes before lighting them

❏ Never attempt to relight charcoal while hot

❏ Ensure coals are completely burned out before leaving the grill

❏ Saturate coals with water and wait at least 30 minutes before discarding them


Behind the numbers

$75 million is the average amount of property loss and damage per year due to grilling-related fires
1/4 of these fires start on courtyards, patios, terraces and screened porches
24% start on exterior balconies and open porches
15 is the average number of people who die every year as a result of a grilling-related fire
Sources: National Fire Protection Agency and Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association

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