According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. Fire Departments responded to an average of 7,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year. The following safety tips will help you, and your family, enjoy a safe, memorable grilling season.
- Position the grill a minimum of 10′ from homes and combustibles such as siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Do not grill underneath tarps or tents.
- Periodically remove grease or fat build up in trays below grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area: declare a three-foot “safe zone” around the grill. The grill area should be set apart from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
Facts & figures
- Gas grills have a higher fire risk than charcoal grills; leaks and breaks are the leading cause, accounting for two-fifths (41%) of the gas grill structure and outdoor fires.
- Gas-fueled grills caused an estimated 2,800 home structure fires and 4,400 home outdoor fires in 2005.
- Charcoal grills have a higher risk than gas grills of death due to unvented carbon monoxide; most of these deaths do not involve fire.
- Charcoal-fueled or other solid-fueled grills caused an estimated 600 home structure fires and 500 home outdoor fires in 2005.
- Placing combustibles too close to heat is the leading cause for charcoal grill home fires.
- Over one-third (35%) of all gas grill and charcoal grill home structure fires begin on an exterior balcony or unenclosed porch.
- Flammable or combustible gas or liquid, including gas fuel, is the leading item first ignited for home gas grill fires.
- Structural member or framing and exterior wall covering or finish, are the leading items first ignited for home structure charcoal grill fires.
Source: NFPA’s “Selections From Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment, Grills” report by John R. Hall, Jr., February 2008.