Summer is well underway here in Ohio! For most, this means bonfires, outdoor activities, and lots of grilling, of course. With only three months to enjoy this beautiful weather, grilling out and enjoying the great outdoors is a staple in summertime fun for the buckeye state. However, it’s essential to keep your family safe during the barbeque. It’s no secret that cooking over an open flame can be dangerous. Following safety precautions will prevent injuries, grill fires, and smoke damage.
The National Fire Protection Association has estimated that about 8,800 home fires start from grilling every year. Additionally, more than forty percent of injuries that involve grills are due to thermal burns. With nearly three in five homes in the United States owning a grill, this is a safety concern for homeowners. To understand how to protect our homes from the dangers of grilling, it’s crucial first to identify the dangers.
Gas will quickly build up inside of the hood of a grill under certain conditions. If the ignition switch cracks, is faulty or stuck, it will cause this buildup. Unfortunately, this is as bad as it sounds. When a homeowner goes to light the gas and ignites the grill, it will create a small explosion or fireball. That’s why it’s important to clean a grill thoroughly a couple of times a year and inspect as well. If possible, lightly clean in between uses for extra precautions.
The obvious danger with grilling is the open flame and possibility for an explosion. Yet, less apparent risks do exist. Specifically, the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning due to gases released from grills. Throughout the use of a grill, it releases carbon monoxide into the air. Carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless, and invisible but poses a massive threat to humans. It displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs. A grill in an enclosed area will allow build up and create a hazardous environment. Though, there is less of a threat as long as the grill is in the open air. Do not grill in a small space such as a covered deck or closed in porch.
With gas grills that have propane tanks, vent explosions are a vital issue to be aware of. Grills that have propane tanks contain a valve that helps release gas. This gas releases in case any pressure builds up in the tank. The grill doesn’t have to be on for the venting to occur, which is a great safety device most homeowners aren’t aware of. Unfortunately, like technology these days, things can go wrong! Ohio is known for going from icy winters to sizzling summers. When the temperature is high, and the air is just right, the propane vents near the grill instead of away. Unfortunately, leaving room for an incident should there be a cigarette, match, or spark-lighter nearby.
The further away from structures, a grill is, the lower the risk of a fire. Keep a grill at least 10 feet away from garages, porches, and the home. Another way to prevent a fire is to keep obstructions away from the grill. For example, not grilling underneath tree branches and leaves or anything combustible. Keep grills away from flags, canopies, and outdoor decorations. This may go without saying, but don’t grill indoors! Not only is this a fire hazard, but this poses a considerable threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Other Safety Tips
Just like anything, grills require maintenance! Clean fat buildup or grease after every use. Not only is this safer, but the food will also cook better. Check for gas leaks; this is something you can do at home. Mix equal parts water and dish soap and apply it to the line connecting the gas tank and grill. Should bubbles appear on the line after the gas turns on, the grill needs to service. Don’t leave the grill unattended or turn on the gas with the lid closed. There is a possibility that the grill will catch fire, and double in size every minute. Finally, only grill enough food to fit on the grill comfortably. Barbecuing too much food at once will cause excess fat to drain onto the grill flames, which could create a fire.
If you do experience fire loss, call the experts at Thompson Building Associates. Our emergency mitigation crews are available 24/7 and make time our priority, both in mitigating the damage and restoring it to ensure you’re back in your home as soon as possible. Get in touch with us through our social media on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube!