As the Fourth of July weekend comes near, many households will be stocking up on the burgers & dogs and getting their grills ready for a long weekend of outdoor barbeque. The Westfield Fire Department Fire Marshal’s Office would like to make grillers aware of cooking safety in the spring and summer months, when grilling fires are at their highest.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an annual average of 8,900 home fires involved grills, hibachis or barbecues from 2009-2013. In addition almost half of all grilling injuries involved thermal burns. Grilling fires peak in July, followed by May, June and August.
While gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills, the Westfield Fire Dept. would like to remind everyone that all types of grills pose a risk for fire and injury. According to another source, 27% of home grill fires started on an exterior balcony or open porch, another 27% started in a courtyard, terrace or patio and 8% began in the kitchen.
The Fire Marshal’s Office suggests the following tips for grilling:
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed away the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Children and pets should be at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
If you have any questions regarding grilling safety or any other fire safety issues, please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 860-632-2488.