Survey Says Americans Let Their Guards Down Around the Grill - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Survey Says Americans Let Their Guards Down Around the Grill

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Before your next backyard barbecue experts are reminding you to do a safety check.

A new outdoor safety survey shows most Americans play it fairly safe outdoors. But there are a few areas where we're letting our guards down

Almost 90 percent of survey respondents said they barbecue at home, making it the most popular outdoor activity.

But it also says just one in five use a nonflammable pad to protect their deck from the extreme heat.

Something local home improvement expert Jake Ellwood says is a must-do if you're grill sits on wood or grass surfaces.

"Like last year if we had the drought again, the grass could catch on fire but that's all potential," said Ellwood. "It's always nice to have a fire extinguisher close to you in case something does happen."

Consumer Reports says 8,600 house fires each year involving grills, barbecues, and hibachis could be prevented if the owner had used a mat or had a fire extinguisher nearby.

"Always have a fire extinguisher handy," said Tri-Township Firefighter Casey Otten. "Another thing to keep in mind is keep children away from the grill, even after you finish grilling because it stays hot for quite a while."

The study shows only two in five homeowners keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

Consumer Reports says you should extinguish the embers by either burying them in dirt or dousing them with water.

47 percent of people in the report say they do not check to make sure the coals are out.

On rainy days, it can be tempting to bring that grill under cover, but even if it's raining, Otten says not to move that grill close to the house or in the garage.

"Location of the grill is very important," said Otten. "You don't want to put it next to any structures or anything that's flammable that it could spread to. Also you want to keep in mind not to put it in your garage while you're grilling or under a covered porch."

Consumer Reports says you should regularly check gas valves, hoses, and connections for leaks and breaks.

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