Newark – As New Jersey residents prepare to celebrate Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer, the Division of Consumer Affairs and the U.S. Product Safety Commission today kicked off “Summer Safety Week” to raise awareness of the increased risk of injury that warm weather brings.
“For many people, the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the most fun and exciting months of the year. But summer activities come with preventable risks, especially for children,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, we’re urging consumers to learn how to avoid seasonal risks to themselves and their children so that everyone stays safe while enjoying summer activities.”
For Summer Safety Week, the DCA is providing consumers with daily tips on how to avoid common hazards of the summer, like grill fires or sports injuries.
With Memorial Day weekend celebrated as the unofficial kickoff to summer, cookouts and barbecues are about to heat up in New Jersey.
All of those outdoor celebrations also mean an increased risk of grilling fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”), May is among the leading months for home grilling fires. The peak months for grilling fires are July, followed by June, May, and August.
On average each year (between 2013 and 2017), U.S. fire departments responded to 10,200 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues, including an average of 4,500 structure fires and 5,700 outside or unclassified fires. These fires resulted in 10 civilian deaths, 160 civilian injuries, and $123 million in direct property damage, on average each year.
According to the NFPA, the leading causes of home grilling fires include failing to properly clean the grill, leaks or breaks, and having a flammable object too close to the grill. Unattended cooking is a major cause of all types of cooking fires, including grill fires. Leaks and breaks are a particular problem with gas grills.
General Grill Safety Information from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
Gas Grill-Specific Safety Information:
Thoroughly inspect your gas grill at least once each year, with the following steps:
Additional Fire Safety Information:
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