Grilling during the Fourth of July holiday is a fun and exciting activity that brings families and friends together to celebrate America's birthday. As the holiday approaches, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey urges North Carolinians to take proper precautions when enjoying this pastime and other outdoor activities.
"A sizzling grill is a welcome sight and smell during Independence Day celebrations with families and friends, but it is important to make safety a priority," said Commissioner Causey. "I want all North Carolinians to follow our safety tips in order to prevent fires and injuries that can result from firing up the grill."
Seven out of 10 adults in the U.S. have a grill or smoker and according to NFPA, July is the peak month for grill fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), between 2013-2017, an average of 19,000 patients per year went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills. During that same time frame, fire departments across the United States responded to an annual average of 10,200 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues.
In order to prevent grilling fires and keep residents safe while cooking outdoors, State Fire Marshal Mike Causey recommends the following tips:
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed far away from the home and deck railings.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Always open the gas grill lid before lighting it.
- If using starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children.
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
For more information, safety tips and videos about grilling safety, visit the NFPA website.