With the heat index stuck at "way too hot" for the remainder of this week, more people will likely turn to outdoor grilling rather than turning on the stove.
But July is also the peak month for grilling fires, according to a news release from the Office of the State Fire Marshall.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 10,200 home fires are started by a grill each year and 19,000 patients head to the emergency room with injuries caused from grilling, the release also said.
The NFPA also reported that over 70% of U.S. households own at least one outdoor barbecue, grill or smoker. Gas grills contribute to a higher number of fires than charcoal grills. NFPA reports 64% of households own a gas grill.
With that in mind, the fire marshal advised grillers to take the following precautions:
• Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors
• The grill should be placed away from the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves of your home and overhanging tree branches
• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling 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
• Always make sure gas grill lid is open before lighting it
• Check the gas tank on your propane grills and hoses for leaks each time before using
• If you smell gas while grilling, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department
• Make sure charcoal grill coals are cool before disposing on them in a metal container.
• Bonfires, pit fires and campfires can also create fire safety dangers during the summer months.
• Campfires need to be built at least 25 feet way from tents, shrubs and anything that can burn.
• Make sure fires are allowed in the area that you are camping.
• Use of chimineas, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits need to be at least 10 feet away from your home or anything that can burn.
For some tips on grilling great food, visit bit.ly/2Y75bEC.