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Safety Officials Warn of Grilling Dangers

By Daniel Cherry | Published 30 Jun 2011 05:52pm | comments

July is the peak month for grilling fires and injuries, and this year isn't expected to be an exception. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports keeping safe around the grill should be a top priority.

74 people in Mississippi received burn injuries from their grill in 2010. While the grill may be a great place for people to congregate. Jim Pollard with American Medical Response says keep a close eye on children while the grill is hot.

"Make absolutely sure that the children are kept at a safe distance from the grill. We recommend that you draw a circle about ten feet in diameter around the grill and declare it a "Kid Free Zone"."

Children are more likely to fall into a grill while playing or they will sometimes touch the extremely hot surface out of curiosity. But children aren't the only ones at risk. R-D Simpson is the Chief of Training with the Jackson Fire Department. He says even experienced cooks will sometimes forget to clean out grease drippings.

"That drips on the bottom of a charcoal grill and that will actually cause a mini spark, and sometimes that will backfire off the grill. That can get on a person's clothing and it can cause a fire."

Those who think it's fun to stand back and spray lighter fluid into the flames are putting themselves at a huge risk. On average 13 people die each year from the explosions it can cause.

Also at least 10 counties in Mississippi will be under a burn ban throughout the holiday due to dry conditions. Mike Chaney is the state fire marshal. He says grillers need to give coals several hours to cool before throwing them out.

"Charcoal can smother and burn for hours after you put it out of a grill. That's probably one of the causes of a major fire on the Gulf Coast that burned well over 600 acres of forest and trees on the Gulf Coast."

Fires caused by grilling accidents cause about 70 million dollars in damages each year nation wide.






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