As the summer’s last big weekend for many Virginia residents approaches, it is important to keep in mind a few common-sense safety precautions. Every year grills and smokers cause thousands of fires, hundreds of injuries, dozens of deaths, and millions of dollars in damage:
- Gas grills cause 7,200 home fires a year.
- Charcoal and other solid fuel grills cause 1,400 fires each year.
- 30 people suffer injuries each year from gas grill explosions.
To avoid becoming part of these statistics, follow these safety steps to help prevent burn accidents:
- Always keep a fire extinguisher handy in the event that the flame gets out of control.
- Leave plenty of space between the grill and your home, deck railing, or any tree branches.
- Before using any grill, make sure it is clean and there hasn’t been any grease build-up.
- Check for gas leaks (follow grill maker’s instructions).
- If any leak is detected, do not use the grill until it is fixed.
- Never store a gas container on its side.
- For charcoal grills, use a chimney starter to fire up the coals.
- Never use a gas or charcoal grill inside. (Yes, some have done it!)
Whether you are camping in the Shenandoah Valley, boating in Tidewater, VA, or cooking out in your back yard in Richmond or Reston, we wish you a happy and safe Labor Day weekend. Enjoy!