The summer is a season for outdoor food and fun around the barbecue.
Unfortunately, it's also the time for burn injuries and poisonings
from improper use of grills. As the barbecue season goes into
full swing, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
is warning of dangers related to carbon monoxide poisoning and
burns, as well as defective gas grills that have been recalled
by the manufacturers.
Charcoal Grill Safety Tips
Each year, charcoal grills are involved in about 20 deaths and
more than 300 emergency room-treated injuries due to carbon monoxide
(CO) poisoning. Burning charcoal produces CO, a colorless, odorless
gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments.
To reduce your risk of CO poisonings, follow CPSC's 3 safety tips:
1 - Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents, or
2 - Charcoal should never be used indoors, even with ventilation.
3 - Since charcoal produces CO until the charcoal is completely
extinguished, do not store the grill indoors with freshly used
Gas Grill Safety Tips
Liquid petroleum (LP) gas or propane, used in gas grills, is extremely
flammable and hazardous. Each year more than 500 fires occur when
people use gas grills. You're at greatest risk just after refilling
and reattaching the grill's gas container, or when you're using
a grill that's been left idle for a period of time.
To reduce the risks, follow these precautions
suggested by CPSC:
CPSC worked with grill manufacturers to develop a new voluntary
standard to prevent LP gas leaks. Grills meeting this standard
will shut themselves off if a gas leak occurs.
In November 1998, CPSC and Sunbeam Products Inc. recalled for
repair about 80,000 Grillmaster gas grills with side burners.
The side burner's propane gas hose on these grills can twist up
toward the aluminum casting of the grill, causing overheating
and melting of the hose. Gas leakage or a fire could result from
the hose damage. To get a free repair kit or for more information,
call Sunbeam toll-free at (888) 892-8150.
In May 1999, CPSC and Kmart announced a recall of about 40,000
Tru-Burn Portable LP Gas Grills because their burner manifolds
can separate during use and ignite nearby combustibles. For more
information, call Kmart toll-free at (800) 63KMART.