Keep Your Home and Loved Ones Safe from Fire
The weather is warming, and outdoor activities are on the rise. Many Americans look forward to barbecues and outdoor time with friends and family. Unfortunately, many home fires are caused using grills, hibachis, and barbeques. Implement some simple preparation methods to help keep your home safe.
Safely Set Up and Maintain Your Grill
- Nothing should overhang the grill, including tree branches, as they could catch on fire easily.
- Do not keep any decorations near or on your grill. Artificial fibers catch and burn quickly.
- Keep a spray bottle and fire extinguisher nearby.
- A gas grill should never be used indoors as they produce carbon monoxide and create a fire hazard. Place your grill outdoors, at least ten feet away from the closest part of the house.
Prevent Fire While Cooking on Your Grill
- Never leave your grill unattended while in use.
- Always open your grill lid before turning on the gas. Leaving it closed will create a fireball that can explode once the lid is opened.
- Clean your grill often. Any materials left on the grill such as fat and grease can act as fuel for potential fires.
- Regularly check your grill for gas leaks. Make a 1:1 liquid dish soap and water solution and apply it to the hose. If bubbles form on the hose, your grill has a gas leak. If you smell gas while cooking, you have a leak. Move away from the grill and call your local fire department.
- Prevent children and pets from playing too near the grill while it’s in use.
Be Ready to Put Out a Grill Fire
If a minor fire flares up, you may be able to extinguish it with a spray bottle of water. A spray bottle cannot handle a larger fire, so it’s important to keep a fire extinguisher nearby as well. Practice using your fire extinguisher. Read the instructions and familiarize yourself with what to do in case of a fire. Hesitation or inability to correctly use a fire extinguisher will slow your reaction time, allowing more damage. The United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration provides a useful explanation on how to use fire extinguishers here.
If you cannot use a fire extinguisher, or do not have one, you will need to call your local fire department immediately.