- Jul 2, 2019
Last year, we offered some summertime safety tips, offering advice from everything from pet to water safety. This summer, since seven out of every 10 adults in the U.S. have a grill or smoker, we are focusing on cooking grill safety. While this translates to a lot of tasty meals, it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2013-2017, fire departments went to an annual average of 10,200 home fires involving grills- including 4,500 structure fires and 5,700 outside fires. These fires caused an annual average of 10 deaths, 160 injuries and $123 million in direct property damage.
Grill safety is not limited to gas grills. The Boy Scouts of America also offer tips for charcoal fires, including using instant lighting charcoal or starter cubes, which are small blocks made of oil, wax placed underneath the briquettes instead of chemical fuels.
Cooking safety in your kitchen is done year-round, so here is a recipe for safer cooking you should keep in mind daily, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers:
- Unattended cooking is the number one cause of fires
- Loose clothing can catch fire
- Clean cooking surfaces to prevent food and grease build-up
- Turn pan handles inward to prevent spills
- Use long handled cooking utensils
In case you find yourself with a cooking fire, take the following steps:
- Call the fire department directly, as in many cases, 911 will give you Emergency Services
- Slide a pan lid over flames to smother a grease/oil fire, then turn off the heat
- If not a grease/oil fire, extinguish with baking soda, not water
- Keep a fire extinguisher in cooking areas and a working smoke detector
Lastly, once food is grilled, remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold to avoid any unintentional illnesses. Safety doesn’t take a vacation!