July Injury Prevention

Safe use and tips for grilling

Did you know the fourth of July is the most popular grilling day in America?  Ninety percent of grill owners say they use their grills on the fourth according to the 23rd International Weber Grill Survey.

Grilling is a fun and easy method to prepare foods any time of the year, but dangers may also lurk. According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments responded to almost 8,000 home fires involving barbeques, grills, smokers or hibachis between 2004 and 2008.

The combination of fire, fuel and hot metal can be disastrous, but planning, preparation and education on the following tips can mitigate grill danger and prevent potential outdoor cooking related injuries.
  • Never leave your grill unattended; you can stop a fire before it starts if necessary.
  • Choose the right location for setting up your grill - look for areas of proper ventilation, but avoid windy areas; stay away from flammable items like houses, garages, woods and leaves.
  • Never use an outdoor grill inside a home, garage, tent or camper.
  • Keep your grill clean - grease accumulates over time and may ignite; flare ups can cause serious injuries.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand in case a fire starts.
  • Use the appropriate tools for handling hot food and coals; long-handled tongs are best.
  • Save the beer or cocktail until after the food is cooked and the grill is off; keep your mind clear so that you can react appropriately if a grill issue occurs.
  • All grills are not created equally. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.

A final note: The main grill chef is responsible for making sure no one is around the grill unnecessarily. Another adult should assume other supervisory duties so that the chef can keep his or her mind on the food, fire and fuel needs.

Happy Independence Day and happy summer from St. John Trauma Services.

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