CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Memorial Day kicks off the unofficial start of summer which means more people will be firing up the grill.
While a common task, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says many have found themselves in a dangerous position with more than 11,000 grill, hibachi, or barbeque-related home fires reported on average annually between 2017 and 2021.
According to NFPA, gas grills were involved in an average of roughly 9,000 home fires with leaks or breaks a primary problem.
It's why the association says those grilling should check the gas tank for issues before use and keep the grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup.
Also, "making sure you have a clear zone around the grill," Michele Steinberg with NFPA said. "You don’t want it right up against the house. You don’t want it under a roof line. You certainly don’t want it inside. Sorry if it’s raining, but please don’t put it in your garage. That’s really, really dangerous both for fire and for the carbon monoxide fumes that come off of it.”
Charcoal or other solid-fueled grills have been the cause of hundreds of structure and outside fires, according to NFPA.
One tip the association recommends is never adding charcoal fluid or other flammable liquids to a flame.
Flammable liquids and other heat sources should also be kept away from kids, as children under five account for thousands of burns each year.
“Keep kids and pets away from those grills and those hot things because they move quickly," Steinberg said.
This season, they're sending the message to grill safely.
Owners are also encouraged to view the latest safety information for their individual grills before use.
To find more grilling safety tips visit NFPA online.