Nine Grilling Safety Mistakes That Can Lead to a Fire Damage Disaster
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth urges homeowners to avoid nine grilling safety mistakes.
Locally owned and operated, SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is the premier damage restoration company serving the Fort Worth, Keller, and Park Glen areas with continuous coverage twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is a true leader in the restoration industry and builds upon a dedication to serving the Fort Worth community with honesty and professionalism. SERVPRO technicians are the best trained in the industry. Having the highest IICRC standards means that customers can trust the property damage restoration team to handle any commercial or residential fire, mold, or water disaster.
Grilling is more popular than ever
Without a doubt, grilling is a favorite pastime in Texas. The frequency of grilling has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic as more people spend more time in their backyard enjoying the fresh air and robust flavor of hamburgers, steak, or fish cooked on the grill.
Grilling safely: Grilling mistakes to avoid
Grilling can be dangerous, and caution should be exercised when firing up the grill. Between 2014-2018, fire departments responded to more than 10,000 home structure and outdoor fires involving grills per year. The annual damage totaled almost $150 million. Here are some grill safety tips that warn grill masters of mistakes to avoid when grilling.
Mistake #1: Cooking too close to a structure or combustible material
Cooking under an awning or under a tree to avoid the hot sun could get a griller burned. Floating embers could turn a tree into a gigantic torch. The grill should be at least ten feet away from the deck railing, home, wooden shed, or garage. Use long-handled grilling tools for personal safety.
Mistake #2: Leaving an active grill unattended
Kids and pets do not mix with lonely grills. Playing near an unattended grill is a recipe for disaster. A dog’s sniffer is estimated to be over a thousand times more sensitive than the human nose. Multiply the savory aroma of that sizzling, juicy steak a thousand times, and the temptation is unbearable. Keep this fact in mind when stepping away from the grill.
Mistake #3: Grilling indoors
Believe it or not, some people grill in the house or garage. Cooking inside on a gas or charcoal grill is a fire hazard. Grills also produce carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that can be deadly. Stay safe by keeping the flame, smoke, and heat outside where it belongs.
Mistake #4: Not cleaning the grill on a regular basis
Clean grills yield better tasting food and are less likely to produce flare-ups. Clean the grill after every use. Be sure to remove grease and fat buildup from the drip tray and grates.
Mistake #5: Failing to use a meat thermometer
The only way to determine if food has been heated to a temperature that is high enough to kill harmful bacteria is by using a meat thermometer. Grill masters need to practice good food preparation hygiene to avoid cross-contamination and food poisoning.
Also, dispose of marinades and sauces that have come into contact with raw meat. Use clean utensils and a clean plate to remove cooked meat from the grill. Wash hands thoroughly with soap before and after handling any raw meats such as seafood, poultry, beef, and pork.
Mistake #6: Cooking too many steaks on the grill at once
Too much fat dripping on the grill flames can cause a flare-up. Cook steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, kabobs, or other items in batches to avoid grill flare-ups.
Mistake #7: Igniting a gas grill with the lid closed
Gas grills cause more house fires than charcoal grills. Lighting the grill with the lid closed allows gas to buildup, producing a fireball at the point of ignition. Practice open-lid lighting. Should the flame go out, turn the grill and gas off. Wait five minutes before attempting a relight. Charcoal grill owners need to be very careful when dousing briquettes that just do not seem to want to light.
Mistake #8: Forgetting to shut off the grill
Take the extra few seconds to turn off the burners and the fuel lines. Charcoal grillers should allow the coals to completely cool before disposing of them in a metal container.
Mistake #9: Unprepared to extinguish a fire
One of the fire damage hazards of grilling outside is the wind. If a fire erupts, the wind can cause the flames to spread rapidly. Have a supply of baking soda handy in case of a grease fire. Use a fire extinguisher for other fires. Do not use water on a grease fire.
SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial properties after a fire, smoke, or water damage incident. For more information about fire damage restoration in the Northeast Fort Worth area, contact the office at (817) 741-5737 or email office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com.