Outdoor grilling accidents put many people in the hospital every year. During summer months, our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at Cogburn Law Offices see an increase in serious injuries caused by malfunctioning gas grills that have exploded or caught on fire.
Grilling Accidents and Injuries
Although millions of Americans enjoy safe outdoor grilling each summer, thousands of people end up in the hospital from grilling accidents and injuries, especially around the 4th of July holiday. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 5,700 grill fires take place on residential properties each year, resulting in over $100 million in property damages, 300 hundred injuries and 30 deaths. In 2014, close to 17,000 people visited hospital emergency rooms due to grilling injuries. Serious thermal burns accounted for more than one-half of the injuries, and one-third of injuries affected children under the age of five.
The majority of grill fires are caused by malfunctioning or defective gas grills with gas leaks or breaks in the gas line. Other causes of grill fires include failure to properly clean the grill, placing the grill too close to objects that can catch fire, and leaving the grill unattended.
Fire reports show that 83 percent of grill fires are fueled by gas, while only 13 percent are fueled by charcoal or other solid fuels. Fire officials say many people with gas grills turn on the gas, leave the cover down, then light the grill, resulting in an explosion from a buildup of gas.
Safety and Prevention
To prevent outdoor grilling accidents and injuries, it’s important to follow safety rules. Whether a grill is fueled by gas or charcoal, following safe grilling tips can prevent serious personal injuries and a hospital.
- Keep grills at least 10 feet away from structures
- Place the grill on a stable surface, so it can’t fall or tip over
- Check for propane leaks on gas grills by inspecting the tank and hoses
- Keep the grill clean and free from grease buildup on grates and catch trays
- Never leave a lit grill unattended, especially around children and pets
- Wear safe clothing without hanging sleeves or shirt tails that can catch fire
When grilling outdoors, it’s important to keep a fire extinguisher nearby to put out a fire. Grease fires cause serious burns and should be extinguished with baking soda, never with water which can make the fire even bigger.