Summer's Here - Time For Grilling-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer's Here - Time For Grilling

Now that summer is here people will be doing more activities outdoors. One of those activities will be cooking outdoors. I thought I might bring to your attention some facts and figures from a recent article released by the U.S. Fire Administration regarding grilling and grill fires.  Grill fires include  hibachis, barbecues or gas fueled grills.
  • From 2006 until 2008 there were an estimated 5,700 grill fires on residential property.
  • This type of fire results in an estimated average of 10 deaths, 100 injuries and 37 million dollars in property loss.
  • 49% of grill fires on residential properties occur between the hours of 5pm to 8pm.
  • 57% of grill fires occur in the summer months
  • Propane is the fuel source that was involved in 69% of these fires.
  • The leading factors that contribute to ignition are:
  • mechanical failure or malfunction (leaks, breaks of containers or piping) - 35%
  • misuse of material or product (heat to close to combustibles, etc) - 30%
  • operational deficiency (unattended equipment, failure to clean equipment) - 26%
Outdoor cooking equipment on residential properties continues to be a high fire risk. As a result it is important that each household practice fire safety when cooking on one of these pieces of equipment. Practicing fire safety can help prevent these fires and their resulting injuries, deaths and property losses. One issue that the article did not address that is very important to mention is that LP gas cylinders should never be stored inside. Even if you think the cylinder is empty there is always residual product left in the cylinder. Outdoors is the ideal location to store an LP gas cylinder. If you must store an LP gas cylinder indoors utilize a shed, a detached garage or some similar structure that is away from the main residential property. Do not eat too much and have a tremendous summer and be safe.

By: Richard Caruso