HCN News & Notes

American Medical Response Offers Barbecue Safety Tips

SPRINGFIELD — American Medical Response (AMR) reminds local residents to be safe when using the barbecue. Tens of thousands of families will fire up barbecue grills during the next few months, and AMR wants them to be aware that grill fires can ignite instantly, leading to devastating property damage, serious injury, or death.

According to the National Fire Protection Assoc., U.S. fire departments respond to an average of more than 11,000 home fires each year involving grills. On average, grill fires cause two deaths, 176 injuries, and $172 million in property damage each year. Children under age 5 account for approximately 46% of burn injuries involving grills, so AMR advises families to keep an eye on little ones, too.

To keep families safe this summer, the AMR team offers some advice for safe barbecuing:

• Select a location away from children, pets, or flammable objects;

• Keep the grill clean by removing excess grease and residue;

• Keep a fire extinguisher close by;

• Use long-handled tongs and spatulas with heat-resistant handles;

• Never leave a grill unattended; and

• Follow manufacturer instructions. All grills come with model-specific recommendations and restrictions, so make sure to read the manual before using.