JACKSON, Wyo. — With summer’s arrival and COVID-19 restrictions loosening around the country, many people will look to grilling, cookouts, and other outdoor gatherings, including fireworks displays, to enjoy the season. As the Fourth of July approaches, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides important reminders and guidelines for safely enjoying the holiday.
When the warmer weather hits, there’s nothing better than the smell of food on the grill. Seven out of every 10 adults in the U.S. own a grill or smoker meaning a lot of backyard BBQs, but it also means there’s an increased risk of home and outdoor fires.
Grilling by the numbers
- July is the peak month for grill fires (18%), including both structure, outdoor or unclassified fires, followed by June (14%), May (13%) and August (12%).
- Children under five accounted for an average of 2,000 or 39%, of the contact-type burns per year. These burns typically occurred when someone, often a child, bumped into, touched or fell on the grill, grill part or hot coals.
- Gas grills were involved in an average of 8,900 home fires per year, including 3,600 structure fires and 4,900 outdoor fires annually. Leaks or breaks were primarily a problem with gas grills. 11 percent of gas grill structure fires and 23% of outside gas grill fires were caused by leaks or breaks.
- Charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in 1,300 home fires per year, including 600 structure fires and 600 outside fires annually.
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.