In 2003-2006, municipal fire departments responded to an estimated 2,400 gasoline structure fires in U.S. homes, annually. These fire resulted in 110 civilian deaths, 313 civilian injuries and $105.9 million in direct property damage. 49% of home gasoline structure fires each year between 2003 and 2006 were categorized as intentional. Almost three-quarters of civilian injuries resulted from unintentional causes. Fuel spills or releases; using gasoline to kindle fire, and gasoline too close to a heat source; were the leading factors contributing to ignition in home gasoline structure fires. Spark ember or flame from operating equipment was the most common ignition source in home gasoline structure fires, followed by matches and lighters.
Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons.
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 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.
•There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
•If you use a 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 and away from heat sources.
•There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
•When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.