Barbecue Safety Tips
by Eloy Gomez
A barbecue that is too close to flammable material is a fire hazard.
Here are a few tips to help people stay safe and avoid fires ignited by grilling:
• Propane barbecue grills should be used outdoors only.
• Grills should be placed at a minimum of 10 feet away from LW apartments, tables, overhanging branches, combustible material and areas where people gather.
• Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill area.
• Keep the grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grates and in the trays below the grill.
• Never leave a heated grill, lighter or matches unattended.
• People who smell gas while cooking should immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
Charcoal grills are not allowed in Leisure World. Propane Grills
• Check the gas tank hose, valve and gas regulator for leaks before grilling. Inspect the burners for excessive rust or worn-out heat shields. Replace if needed.
• If the grill has a gas leak, it should be serviced by a professional before using it again. If a leak occurs while grilling, call the fire department.
• If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least five minutes before relighting it. U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 10,600 home structure and outdoor fires involving grills per year between 2014-2018, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires caused an average of 10 civilian deaths, 160 civilian injuries, and $149 million in direct property damage annually.
About 89 percent of the fires were started by gas grills and 57 percent of those occur between May and August.