Barbecue Grill

Summer Grill Safety

Lots of people think summer would be incomplete without a cookout. From Memorial Day to Labor Day and every weekend in-between, Hoosiers across Indiana are firing up the grill and making memories, and it’s not just here: 70% of the households in the US own some type of barbecue, whether charcoal or gas. But safety around this backyard hot spot is also essential. We hope these basic grilling safety tips will be simple to keep in mind while you’re having fun in the sun this summer.

Proper Grill Cleaning

Sometimes, simply scrubbing the grill a little isn’t enough if there are some hard-ground food or fat stores on the grill grates. These are known to ignite and cause a large, intense fire. Before anyone starts up the grill, they should perform a proper inspection and attend to any necessary cleaning or maintenance. A clean grill is a safe grill, so a good host should scrub enough to get any old food or fat off of the grates. It’s also important to check all propane connections and make sure there are no leaks; any bubbles forming around the gas connection can be a sign of a leak. 24% of all the gas grill home fires in the US from 2011-2014 were caused by a leak or break.

Wearing Appropriate Clothing

Believe it or not, there is appropriate grill attire. What is worn near the grill can have an immediate impact on the safety of everyone around it. Long sleeves, loose articles, fringes, and aprons can all ignite easily if they come into contact with a flame and can result directly in severe burn injuries. A sudden gust of wind can be all it takes to sweep a loose garment into the grill flames.

Grilling Outdoors Only

The smoke is often enough of a reason for many of us to keep the grill outside. But grilling inside also presents a very real and serious danger beyond just the possibility of a mess. Grill flames can often become uncontrollable and if a flame gets too high, it can set the house on fire, which can in turn be devastating to anyone also inside. The extreme heat itself can char walls and nearby objects. That residual smoke will also heavily pollute the air which can have terrible effects on lungs.

Isolating and Ventilating the Grill

Keeping the grill outside isn’t the only thing a cookout host should do. It’s equally important that the grill isn’t close to any flammable objects. Additionally, grills need to be able to breathe in order to stay under control, so it’s also necessary that it’s not covered or surrounded to closely. Trees, leaves, house siding, deck rails, yard decorations— these can also become hazards if they are too close to a fire, especially on a windy day.

It’s important to remember that around 16,500 Americans a year go to the emergency room because of a grill-related injury, and around half of those are thermal burns that can have lasting effects. That situation is difficult for anyone, but if the burn or other injury resulted due to a cook-out host’s neglect of proper safety procedures, it can be even more difficult to move forward in life with peace of mind. 

Have you been injured while on someone else’s property? Christie Farrell Lee & Bell has an experienced team of Indianapolis premises liability attorneys who can help you explore your options.