Preventing Burn Injuries: Tips for Outdoor Grilling

Barbecues and outdoor grilling are a favorite year-round pastime throughout the Carolinas. During the spring and summer months, families, friends, and neighbors will find even more opportunities to get together and grill out. With the onset of barbecue season, it is important to keep in mind safety to prevent accidents and injuries, especially burns. In addition to propane explosions, grills can also pose potential fire hazards.
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Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors. This may sound obvious, but many grillers have tried to use these grills in garages or in other enclosed spaces which can be extremely hazardous. In addition to the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning, having a grill in an enclosed space or too close to a building is a clear fire hazard.

Keep away from railings, awnings, and foliage. All grills should be kept far enough away from railings, building structures and other flammable items, including lawn furniture, awnings, plants or other dry foliage. Wherever you decide to put your grill, the area should be well ventilated, not in a garage or tent.

Don’t drink and grill. Thousands of burn injuries and grill accidents happen when the chef is under the influence. When using a grill, don’t drink alcohol or make sure you drink in moderation to avoid unnecessary accidents and injuries.

Clean your grill regularly. Grease that accumulates in a grill can build up over even a few cookouts and can lead to a fire hazard. Flare-ups are a cause of serious injuries and can occur whether you have a gas or charcoal grill.

Never leave your grill unattended. By keeping an eye on your barbecue, you can make sure that you have time to put out a fire before it becomes unmanageable. You should also stay close to your grill to ensure that small children are kept away.

Own proper grilling equipment. In addition to knowing how to operate your grill, you should have proper equipment. Using long tongs and spatulas with heat-resistant handles can prevent burns. You should also follow the manufacturer instructions regarding heat temperatures, preparation and use.

Have emergency equipment on hand. In addition to having a fire extinguisher close by, you should also be prepared to take emergency action in the event of a burn. Know how to treat a burn and have a phone close to call 911 if necessary.

The Home Safety Council reports that fires and burns are the third leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths. The National Fire Protection Association reports that July is the peak month for grill fires. The organization reports that 8,000 home fires occurred between 2004 and 2008 as a result of barbecues, grills, hibachis and smokers. A grill fire is extremely hazardous and could result in injury or death.

If you’ve been injured, contact Lee Law Offices for an initial consultation by calling 800-887-1965.

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