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Even though everyone enjoys a tasty summer barbecue, no one wants a fun time with family and friends marred by a burn injury. In 2012, ESPN sports commentator Hannah Storm learned this first hand.
On its web page about grill safety, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recounts Ms. Storm’s story. As she was preparing to cook on a gas grill, the wind extinguished the flame. When Ms. Storm tried to re-light the grill, a fireball fueled by a pool of propane gas erupted. Ms. Storm suffered first- and second-degree burns on her face, neck, chest and hands.
As this story illustrates, you should take precautions when grilling.
GEICO has published the following tips for grilling safely, most of which relate to the risk of damage to property or injury to people as a result of fires. Whether you use a propane or charcoal grill, you should:
The explosion at Blue Rhino’s Tavares plant last July clearly shows how dangerous even a single spark can be around a leaky gas grill. In an article published in February, The Orlando Sentinel cited a prosecutor’s finding that the explosion, which severely burned five workers, was caused by a spark from a forklift.
While a backyard BBQ is not likely to result in a large fire like the one in Tavares, the incident does highlight the need to take safety precautions when grilling with flammable substances.
When operating a gas grill, GEICO recommends these extra precautions:
The NFPA suggests these additional safety measures for users of propane grills:
Those who prefer to grill using charcoal must also exercise caution. A story reported by a CBS affiliate in Mobile, Alabama, in 2011 is all too common.
Charcoal embers were not fully extinguished after a cookout and fell through holes in the bottom of a grill. They landed on a wooden deck and started a blaze that consumed the deck and portions of the home, causing $75,000 in damage, according to the report. Fortunately, there were no injuries.
GEICO offers the following safety tips to those who use charcoal grills: