With summer approaching (it is isn’t it?) most people imagine being outside enjoying the weather. Perhaps a picnic, a trip to the beach, a hike or a BBQ in your backyard by the pool is your favorite summer activity. These types of activities can be very relaxing and a great deal of fun. Having a summertime BBQ is one of everyone’s favorite things. Just thinking about the delicious food is making my mouth water as I’m writing this. But I also know this wonder day of good food and family can become a nightmare if certain safety precautions are not followed.
I am a 9-1-1 dispatcher. I have seen many emergency calls that all started with an innocent BBQ party. Okay, let’s start with a funny one. Can you believe a swimming pool fire? It actually happened. Someone started their grill by adding lighter fluid. A little too much lighter fluid and the grill caught fire. This person tried to stop the fire by pushing the grill into the pool. Lighter fluid floats so the fire was on the top of the water, hence the pool fire. Lesson learned, don’t use too much lighter fluid and keep your grill away from the pool.
I have also sent the fire department to an apartment fire that started with a grill catches fire on a balcony. The lesson is to never place your grill right up against a building. And never, never use it on a covered porch. A porch roof can catch fire and that is normally attached to your house. Those burgers are not worth burning down your house for.
There are medical emergencies that those grilling need to pay attention to. Grills get hot. Burns from a hot grill happen all the time. Small children running around the grill are asking to be burned. Keep children away from the grill area, no exceptions. Another example of a grill danger actually happened to me. I had never started a propane grill before. I turned the gas on at the tank knob with the lid closed. I didn’t know that the propane would build up. I pushed the button on the grill to light it and lifted the lid to see if it was lit and the next thing I knew my eyebrows and hair in the front of my head was singed. The flash of fire happened so fast I never saw it coming. I was lucky I didn’t suffer any burns, just a bit of singed hair. But I now know how to light a grill.
When grilling, please be careful and follow all safety precautions. Don’t be my next 9-1-1 call.