(FOX19) - As the barbecues beckon this grilling season, the National Fire Protection Association warns grill masters to pay attention to safety.
From 2011 through 2015, fire departments responded to an average of 9,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues each year, according to the NFPA. These fires caused yearly averages of 10 deaths, 160 injuries and $133 million in property damage.
July is the peak month for grill fires, followed by May, June and August.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commissions's National Electronic Surveillance System, many grill-related burns occur when someone bumps into, touches or falls on the grill, a grill part or hot coals. The surveillance system reports that children under age 5 suffered 35 percent of burns seen in patients at emergency departments from 2012 through 2016.
NFPA provides grilling fire safety tips to consumers
The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association reports 73 percent of consumers frill on July 4, 60 percent grill on Memorial Day, 58 percent on Labor Day and 45 percent on Father's Day.
NFPA states that all types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries.
Grills should be placed well away from siding and deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches, per manufacturer's instructions.
According to NFPA, 11 percent of home grill structure fires begin when an outside wall catches fire, and in roughly one of every five fires, the grill had not been cleaned.
"As grilling season approaches, it is important that grillers review basic safety tips to ensure they are grilling properly and safely," said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA. "Failing to properly clean the grill or having the grill too close to something that could burn are the leading causes of fires. Good practice dictates that home chefs check for damage before using the grill for the first time each year, and to check the entire grill regularly."
NFPA offers tips for checking damage to propane tank hoses before using
The NFPA provides some more grilling fire safety tips:
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors
- Children and pets should be at least 3 feet away from the grill area
- Keep the grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the gates and trays below
- Never leave the grill unattended
For more information and resources including tips for outdoor cooking with portable grills, visit www.nfpa.org/grilling or download NFPA's safety tip sheet on grilling for easy access.