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Neighbors of DuPage

Summer: Peak Time for Grill Fires

Springfield - The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) wants to remind all Illinoisans to practice safe grilling techniques this summer. More and more people entertain outdoors during the summer months, leading to the increase of fires caused by grills. July is the peak month for grilling fires.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), reports over 70% of U.S. households own at least one outdoor BBQ, grill or smoker. Gas grills contribute to a higher number of fires than charcoal grills. NFPA reports 64% of households own a gas grill. On average, 10,200 home fires are started by a grill yearly. Each year 19,000 patients visit the Emergency room with injuries caused from grilling. Thermal burns are the most common injury with over 9,000 reported.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal advises everyone to take these steps to help ensure a safe summer filled with everyone’s favorite grilled foods:

• Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors
• The grill should be placed away from the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves of your home and overhanging tree branches
• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area
• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill
• Never leave your grill unattended
• Always make sure gas grill lid is open before lighting it
• Check the gas tank on your propane grills and hoses for leaks each time before using
• If you smell gas while grilling, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department
• Make sure charcoal grill coals are cool before disposing on them in a metal container

Bonfires, pit fires and campfires can also create fire safety dangers during the summer months. Campfires need to be built at least 25 feet way from tents, shrubs and anything that can burn. Make sure fires are allowed in the area that you are camping. Use of chimineas, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits need to be at least 10 feet away from your home or anything that can burn.

For more information about grilling please visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website at:

Source: JC Fultz 217-785-1026,