After months of self-quarantining with limited access to restaurants, a summertime backyard cookout sounds delicious!
But July is the peak month for grill fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Gas and charcoal grills cause close to 2,900 structure fires, 5,000 outdoor fires, and result in property loss of nearly $30 million dollars each year.
Before you fire up the grill, review your Community Association’s policies on grilling and share with the members of your community. The HOA policy may restrict grilling based on building and fire codes, depending on the type of homes in your area (condo, townhouse, patio home, etc).
The Town of Ocean City does not allow grills or other outdoor cooking equipment to be used within 20’ of multi-family dwellings (buildings that contain three or more dwelling units).
Keep yourself, your home, and your community safe with these tips.
- Check gas grills prior to use to make sure all tank hoses and burners are in good working condition, and free of cracks and leaks.
- A grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. Keep your grill on an open, level surface, away from deck railings, other furniture and overhanging tree branches.
- Maintain a safe zone around the grill, keeping children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Never use outdoor cooking equipment indoors, as it creates a significant fire and carbon monoxide hazard.
- Never leave a lit grill unattended.
- Regularly clean your grill by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- If the flame on your gas grill goes out while you’re using it, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least 5 minutes before relighting it.
- Have a spray bottle full of water handy for minor flares.
- Place a fire extinguisher nearby.
Download a handy grill safety tip sheet from the National Fire Protection Association and have a safe and sizzling summer!