Grilling Dangers to Be Aware of This 4th of July Holiday and All Summer

Inside Edition has tips to prevent a flammable disaster from happening in your backyard.

This Independence Day marks the height of the outdoor grilling season.

But every year about 16,000 thousand people go to the emergency room because of grilling accidents, including severe burns from gas grills, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Safety experts say propane grills can quickly turn into dangerous fireballs if they're used improperly and you don’t follow the important safety instructions.

Fire Marshal Rob Dobuzinsky of the Branford, Connecticut Fire Department told Inside Edition's Investigative Unit it's important for people to be aware of basic grilling safety.

In a demonstration, he and his team showed Inside Edition how flash-fires can occur when propane gas is left on too long with the grill cover down.

Dobuzinsky says you should always lift the grill's cover lid up before lighting it and make sure you keep the grill away from any combustible material, like a wooden deck. 

Although rare, Dobuzinsky says propane gas can leak from tanks, which can lead to a potential fireball or worse.

To check if you may have a leak, he says you can spray soapy water on the tank and the connector tube.

One tip he offered to check if you may have a leak is to spray soapy water on the tank and the connector tube.

“If you see any bubbles that could indicate that there could be a leak,” he said.

If an igniter clicks but your grill won’t light up, Dobuzinsky says to “shut the gas off and let it cool down for several minutes before you try again.”

Experts say propane grills are a safe and convenient tool for cooking, but you have to remember to not to leave them unattended and not leave the gas on when finished grilling.

Other tips from the National Fire Protection Agency include:

    •    The grill, propane or charcoal, should be placed away from the home, awnings or deck. 
    •    Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill. 
    •    Keep the grill clean by cleaning the grease or fat buildups in the trays in and below the grill. 
    •    Never leave the grill unattended. 
    •    Always make sure your grill lid is open before lighting it. 
    •    For a charcoal grill, after you finish cooking, let the coals completely cool and then dispose in a mental container. 

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