Mississippians looking to get an early start of the Fourth of July holiday with a cookout this weekend need to know and practice grilling fire safety before lighting the grill. Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney today reminds consumers that we are entering the peak month for grilling fires. More grilling fires occur during the month of July than any other month.
"The most dangerous time around a grill is when you light it. Also, you have a greater risk of a fire using a gas grill, with statistics showing gas grills were involved in an average of over 7,000 home fires annually between 2006-2010," Chaney said.
As citizens celebrate our country's freedom every Fourth of July, more lives and property are threatened by fire than any other day of the year. Between 2006 and 2010 fire departments across the country responded to an average 8,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbeques per year. These fires caused an average of 10 civilian deaths, 140 reported civilian injuries, and $75 million in direct property damage.
"Take extra care with your grill this year; you want to celebrate the Fourth with your family, not in the emergency room," Chaney said.
Grilling injuries sent 16,600 patients to emergency rooms in 2011. The National Fire Protection Association states that roughly one-half (1/2) of reported gas grill injuries were thermal burns and almost one-third (1/3) of gas grill injuries were incurred while lighting the grill. Gasoline or lighter fluid was a factor in roughly one-quarter (1/4) of reported charcoal or wood burning grill burns. More than one-quarter (28%) of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace, or patio.
To help keep your family safe during this Fourth of July Holiday period, the Mississippi State Fire Marshal's Office, recommends these grilling safety tips:
For more fire safety tips visit the State Fire Marshal page of the Mississippi Insurance Department website at: www.mid.state.ms.us. or get tips on Twitter from @msfiresafe and @MSInsuranceDept.
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