Worst grilling mistakesBy Sean Kelley, for Sharecare
As a volunteer firefighter, I've seen my share of grilling fires. In the Deep South where I live, they are common enough throughout the year, but the frequency of calls involving grass fires, house fires and forest fires caused by backyard barbecues start going up around Memorial Day and don't really let up until the fall.
Grilling fires are serious business. I have a six-inch burn scar that encircles one of my ankles, the result of an accident caused by a faulty grill. Two months of debriding (cleaning the wound) is painful and no way enjoy grilling season!
Grill fires get started for a number of stupid reasons. Mine flared up because lighter fluid was stored too close to the grill. But I've also responded to fires started because a rickety charcoal grill collapsed, a gas grill sprang a propane leak and because some idiot lit a hibachi on his screened-in porch.
If you haven't fired up your grill in a while, here are some important safety tips to remember from New York-Presbyterian Hospital:
• If you're using a propane gas grill, inspect your propane tank and hoses for leaks, dents, cracks or corrosion.
• Always light the match before turning on the propane gas.
• Never use your grill indoors or under any structure that may catch fire, such as patio covers.
• Never smoke cigarettes or use matches or lighters near the grill.
• If you're using a charcoal grill, use water to make sure that coals are extinguished and be careful never to dispose of briquettes that are still hot.
• Avoid loose clothing while grilling, especially long sleeves.
• Keep kids away from the grill at all times.
If an accident does happen, be prepared. S.O.S. from the American Red Cross, a free Android app created in partnership between the American Red Cross, Dr. Oz and Sharecare, offers easy-to-follow first aid tips covering a wide range of emergencies, including treating burns.
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Sean Kelley is the director of content operations at Sharecare.
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