JUNE AND JULY ARE PEAK MONTHS FOR SUMMER GRILLING FIRES
NFPA urges grillers to be mindful of safety
May 15, 2014 – As Memorial Day Weekend approaches kicking off the unofficial start of summer, backyard chefs everywhere are dusting off their grills, eager to spring into the long-awaited barbeque season. This summer, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that grillers pay particular attention to safety, especially in June and July, when home fires involving grilling incidents occur most often.
According to a 2013 NFPA report on cooking equipment fires, gas grills were involved in an annual average of 7,200 home fires in 2007-2011, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were responsible for an annual average of 1,400 home fires. While gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts, NFPA reminds everyone that all types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries. More than one-quarter (27 percent) of home structure grill fires started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, while 29 percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and six percent began in the kitchen, according to the report.
“Grilling season is a great time of year for friends and families to have cookouts and tailgate, but before starting the season, be sure your grill is working properly and review safety tips,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA. “Propane gas hose leaks or breaks were the leading factors contributing to gas grill fires. It is good practice to check for damage before using it for the first time each year, and to clean and check the entire grill regularly.
When grilling, NFPA suggests the following:
Stay alert when grilling. Do not grill if you are sleepy or when you are drinking alcohol.
Don’t leave your cooking/grill area unattended.
Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area. Remove flammable materials from around the grill.
Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
Grills should be placed well away from the home and deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. NOTE: A light soap and water solution applied to the hose is a great way to check for leaks. You can often smell a propane leak but propane will also release bubbles when the soap and water solution is applied. If you detect a leak, turn the gas tank and grill off. 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.
Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before igniting.
If you smell gas while cooking, immediately move away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
If the flames go out for any reason, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.
Keep your grill clean by regularly removing grease or fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
Charcoal grill safety tips to consider:
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 liquid to the flames.
Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
Electric charcoal starters 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 with a lid.
There’s nothing quite like a peaceful summer day at the beach. That peace can turn to tragedy in a moment when someone you love is in danger of drowning.
About 10 people a day in the United States die by accidental drowning and many of these deaths are preventable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers these timely tips for summer swimming safety.
10 Beach Safety Tips to Prevent Accidental Drowning
1. Learn to swim and teach your children how to swim. Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88 percent among young children aged one to four, who are at greatest risk of drowning. But even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant, careful supervision when in the water, and barriers to prevent unsupervised access are necessary to prevent drowning.
2. Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In the time it might take for lifeguards or paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
3. Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing.
4. Heed warning flags. Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags, which may vary from one beach to another.
5. Know the terrain. Be aware of and avoid drop-offs and hidden obstacles in natural water sites. Always enter water feet first.
6. Avoid rip currents. Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents, like water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore; once free of the current, swim diagonally toward shore.
7. Look for lifeguards. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible.
8. Be on the lookout. When kids are in or near water (including bathtubs), closely supervise them at all times, even when lifeguards are present. Adults should avoid distracting activities and using alcohol or drugs while supervising children. Adults should also use the buddy system.
9. Don’t hyperventilate. Swimmers should never hyperventilate before swimming underwater or try to hold their breath for long periods of time. This can cause them to pass out (sometimes called “shallow water blackout”) and drown.
10. Fence it off. Barriers to pool access should be used to help prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without caregivers’ awareness when they aren’t supposed to be swimming. Pool fences should completely separate the house and play area from the pool, be at least four feet high, and have self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward, with latches that are out of the reach of children
Support the fallen heroes from the Boston Fire Department by purchasing your raffle tickets for a chance to win four (4) glass seats tickets to see the Boston Bruins take on the Buffalo Sabres this Saturday, April 12th at 12:30pm at the TD Garden.
Proceeds will benefit the Lieutenant Walsh-Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund, which has been created to assist the
families impacted by the recent tragedy in the Back Bay.