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Submitted by the Firefighters Association of the State of New York
As New Yorkers gear up to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, many will be turning on their grills for the first time this season. The Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) recommends that all New Yorkers follow some basic rules and tips to avoid accidents and injuries. We also urge everyone to never hesitate to call for help when needed.
Emergency departments nationwide have seen a significant rise over the past decade in the number of visits from grilling injuries, with an 18% rise in patients being treated in emergency departments for grilling-related injuries over the past 10 years. NFPA data shows that, from 2014-18, fire departments responded to an annual average of 10,600 home fires annually involving grills, hibachis or barbecues. This includes 4,900 structure fires and 5,700 outside or unclassified fires. These fires resulted in an annual average of 10 civilian deaths, 160 civilian injuries, and $149 million in direct property damage.
“We want all New Yorkers to enjoy fun and safe Memorial Day celebrations this weekend, which means reviewing safety rules and tips for grilling,” FASNY President Edward Tase Jr. said. “Your local fire department is ready to help, no matter how big or small the problem. Don’t hesitate to call your local fire department because a few minutes can make a big difference.”
You can keep everyone safe by following the important tips below.
Tips from NFPA and FASNY
√ 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 at least 3 feet away from the grill 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 your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
Founded in 1872, the Firefighters Association of the State of New York represents the interests of the approximately 90,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York state. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.