Make Sure You Keep a Lookout on Your Cookout this Fourth of July | Florida Injury Lawyers Whittel & Melton


Whittel & Melton’s Florida Injury Lawyers want to ensure that everyone uses grills safely this holiday weekend and throughout the rest of the summer. Grill fires are most common in July, with June, May, and August following closely behind.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 64% of American homes have at least one outdoor grill, smoker, or barbecue. Grills that run on gas cause more fires than those that run on charcoal. Grills are the primary cause of 10,200 home fires annually. Fire departments across America responded to 11,421 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues on average between 2017 and 2021; these included 5,763 building fires and 5,659 outdoor fires. Approximately one-fifth, or 20%, of reported grilling fires were caused by a dirty grill. More than 25% of grill building fires originated from an open porch or balcony outside. From 2017-2021, grill-related injuries sent 22,155 patients to ERs annually on average. Thermal burns, which include burns from fire and contact with hot objects, accounted for nearly half (10,342 or 47%) of the injuries.

When grilling hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, chicken, or tofu, poblano peppers, or whatever your heart desires this 4th of July, please remember to keep your eye on your grill. It can be easy to get distracted when you have company over, but you do not want a burn injury or fire to ruin your good time.

This summer, 4th of July, and any other day you use your grill, remember these safety tips:

  • Grills powered by propane and charcoal should only be used outside.
  • The grill should be located away from the house or deck railing, as well as placed away from under the eaves of the residence and overhanging tree branches.
  • Grease or fat accumulation on grills and in trays beneath grills should be cleaned to keep your barbecue clean.
  • Make sure the lids of gas grills are open before igniting them, and never leave your grill unattended.
  • Children and animals should be kept at least three feet away from the grilling area.
  • Prior to each use, make sure there are no leaks in the gas tank of your propane grills or hoses.
  • Check that the embers from the charcoal barbecue are cold before discarding them in a metal container.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, walk away from the grill immediately and contact the fire department.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of water, or garden hose accessible, or know where you can get one immediately.

More Hot Tips

Summertime bonfires, pit fires, and campfires can all pose fire safety risks. Campfires must be built at least 25 feet away from plants, tents, and other combustible objects. Check to see if fires are permitted in the campsite area you are visiting. Chimineas, outdoor fireplaces, and fire pits should be kept at least 10 feet away from your home or anything that can burn.

What Should You Do if You Suffer a Burn Injury?

If you get burned, consider these first-aid treatments for minor first or second-degree burns:

  • To relieve pain and swelling, run cool water over the burned area or apply a cold compress.
  • Apply petroleum jelly to the affected area.
  • Apply a loose, sterile bandage to the area.
  • Keep the affected area away from future sun exposure.
  • Avoid pealing the skin or popping blisters.
  • Allow the wound to heal naturally.

If you have a more serious injury, please seek medical treatment right away. Your health and well-being should be of the utmost importance.

Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are available 24/7 this Independence Day and all summer long. If you have been injured in a grill accident, we can help. Call us at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.


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