The National Fire Protection Association estimates that gas and charcoal grill accidents cause $29.8 million in property loss each year.
Loss of property – and in some cases, loss of life – can turn an otherwise happy time of fellowship and celebration into one of sadness and sorrow. However, knowing how to properly operate the grill can literally mean the difference between life and death.
“The fact is most people just make mistakes,” said Greig McCully, owner of Fireside Outdoor Kitchens and Grills in Augusta.
The biggest mistake gas-grill owners make is reigniting a burner that has gone out without letting the gas die down, McCully said.
“That can cause a really bad accident,” he said.
Another common error that can lead to dangerous results is cooking the grill clean.
“Most people try to cook their grills clean,” said McCully. “They end up leaving them on all night and forget about them.”
McCully said he’s a huge advocate of grilling safety and recommends setting a timer for five minutes when cooking a grill clean.
Charcoal and gas grills are the most popular grills on the market today. However, wood pellet grills, which operate using wood pellets rather than charcoal, and electric grills are also seeing a rise in popularity.
An estimated three out of four American households owns a grill, according to the Barbeque Industry Association. That’s why it’s imperative that grill operators take necessary precautions when using the grill.
“By and large, grilling is an incredibly safe activity,” said McCully. “You just need to take some precautions.”