Fire Up the Grill With These Barbeque Safety Tips
Summer weather means exploring the great outdoors, hanging by the pool, and barbequing with friends and family. Our team at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., grabs any chance to enjoy delicious barbeque, but we also believe in putting safety first. You should always remember to keep safe in front of the flames, whether you are just getting into smoking or are an experienced grill master, and we’re here to help you with a few tips.
Causes of Barbeque Burns
Grills are naturally dangerous devices, and it is very easy for a grill owner or party guest to be injured by them. In most cases, the victim will suffer a mild burn, but there is a risk of second- or third-degree burns, starting fires, and gas explosions if the grill is not carefully supervised and maintained. For example:
- Poor Grill Placement: Grills should only be used outside and at least 10 feet away from nearby structures, overhanging trees, and dry brush. Owners should always be mindful of where they place their grills and move any flammable substances as far away as possible to avoid a spreading fire.
- Inexperienced Cooks: Party hosts love to show off their new gadgets, and grills are no exception. But even if it is the host’s second or third time grilling, safely preparing a delicious hamburger takes a lot of time and practice. Inexperienced grillers will constantly bounce between chatting with guests to flipping burgers, but that impatience can cost them. They may leave their tools too close to the flame or recklessly open the grill, causing second- or third-degree burns from hot metal. In serious cases, they may misjudge how much propane to use, leading to a fire or explosion, which could injure or kill multiple guests.
- Lack of Maintenance and Cleaning: Before and after someone starts grilling, they should always make sure the grill has been cleaned and is safe to use. It is very easy for grill owners to become complacent and forget to clean their equipment for months to years. Failing to regularly clean a grill can lead to foodborne illnesses, as well as serious burns if any equipment is damaged.
- Lack of Supervision: Children are curious by nature, but that often gets them in trouble. A child may be curious about his parent’s cooking or just want to get a burger in his belly as fast as possible. If a parent is not paying attention, the child could get too close to the grill and burn himself.
- Defective Equipment: Homeowners expect their grills to be state-of-the-art and free of defects, but all it takes is one manufacturing or design error to cause a tragic accident. Damaged propane tanks, torn hoses, or poor gas flow can all turn a normal grill into an explosive device.
Steps Every Grill Owner Should Follow
We know you want to show off your cooking skills and enjoy a lively barbeque with friends and family, but grill owners should always put safety first. Remember: you are dealing with a very dangerous combination of gas and fire. Following all safety measures and guidelines is key to preventing a tragic accident.
To keep safe, all grill owners should follow the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) grill checklist, which includes:
- Check the grill’s Venturi tube for blockages at least once a year.
- Look for cracks, brittleness, holes, tears, kinks, or leaks in the grill’s hose.
- Keep the hose away from hot surfaces and grease.
- Check for LP gas leaks after reconnecting the grill to the container.
- If you find a leak or smell gas, turn off the grill and keep it off until the leak is fixed.
Grill owners should also only use their grills outdoors, follow all safety instructions in the manual, and have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case.
How Should You Treat a Grill Burn?
With any burn, it is important to consult a doctor to ensure you receive proper treatment, but there are also steps you can take to minimize the damage. There are three types of burns:
- First-Degree Burns: First-degree burns are similar to sunburns and are superficial, often leading to red skin, mild swelling, and some pain. These burns will heal on their own without medical attention in just over a week. You should soak the wound in cool water for at least 10 minutes, apply lidocaine and aloe vera to the skin, clean it with an antibiotic ointment, and place a bandage or loose gauze over it while it heals.
- Second-Degree Burns: Second-degree burns involve moderate damage to the skin. The burned skin may appear red, develop blisters, and feel sore. These burns will take at least three weeks to heal, and you should follow the same steps as those for first-degree burns to promote healing. However, if you have suffered a burn over a large area of your body, then you should see a doctor.
- Third-Degree Burns: Third-degree burns are the most serious type of burn, as the damage extends down through all layers of skin. Victims may not feel any pain due to nerve damage, but a third-degree burn can be identified by a white or dark brown color (charred skin), and leathery texture. These are medical emergencies and should be treated as soon as possible. Victims should keep the affected area above their heart to avoid blood loss and avoid dressing it until doctors can look it over.
If you did suffer a serious burn due to someone else’s negligence, whether it was a reckless homeowner or careless grill manufacturer, you should reach out to the Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. As the Husband and Wife Law Team, we are dedicated to helping our neighbors throughout Phoenix and the rest of Arizona after catastrophic accidents. We can investigate the cause of your burns, calculate the full costs of your injuries, and work to get you proper compensation in an injury claim.
You do not have to worry about paying us either – we work on contingency-fee basis, meaning we do not get paid until you do. Call us today at (602) 457-6222 to learn how the Husband and Wife Law Team can fight for you.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer