While South Floridians enjoy grilling weather year-round, summertime is peak grilling season for the rest of the country. Grilling can be an enjoyable and a healthy cooking adventure if several precautions are followed.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 18,000 people go to the emergency room following a grilling-related accident and around 170 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning in the U.S. every year. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can be produced from charcoal or gas grill cooking.
The fifth edition of the Florida Fire Prevention Code was effective December 31, 2014. A notable change to one section deals with the storage and use of grills for residents of apartments, townhomes and condominiums. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1, section 10.11.6.1, no hibachi, grill or similar device used for cooking shall be used or kindled on any balcony, under any overhanging portion or within 10 feet of any structure. Additionally, NFPA 1, section 10.11.6.2, says that no hibachi, grill or similar device used for cooking shall be stored on a balcony, including one on the first floor.
The NFPA also offers the following tips to home grillers:
>Propane and charcoal barbecue grills should only be used outdoors.
>The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
>Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
>Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill and in trays below the grill.
>Never leave your grill unattended.
Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call 911. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call 911. Do not move the grill.
When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
Using these tips will help you have a safe and delicious grilling season.
If you have any questions, please contact the Coconut Creek Fire
Marshal Office at 954.973.6706 or email [email protected].