May 29, 2020 by John Fernandez
Burns, Grilling Mishaps and Other Holiday Dangers (With Infographic)
Fireworks, barbecue picnics and outdoor fun are key ingredients of Fourth of July festivities. But taking safety precautions are also important on Independence Day and all year round, says Ricardo Castrellon, M.D., medical director of the Burn Center at South Miami Hospital.
Playing it safe will help you prevent burns from fireworks and grilling activities, Dr. Castrellon says.
Every year, burns linked to fireworks create potential tragedies for thousands of families in the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
There were an estimated 9,100 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2018, with 62 percent of them occurring during the month surrounding the Fourth of July (June 22-July 22), the CPSC said in its new report released just before this year’s Fourth of July festivities.
Burns linked to outdoor grills are also a seasonal hazard. “Each year an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns,” according to the National Fire Protection Agency.
Food Safety Tips
When it comes to food safety, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends thoroughly cooking chicken and meat, using a thermometer designed for meat to test internal temperatures. Cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160°F, steaks and roasts to 145 ºF – 160 ºF, and poultry until it reaches 165°F, according to Safe Food Handling: Seven Super Steps to Safe Food In the Summer, a government publication.
Grilling Safety Tips and Information:
Before lighting the grill, do a safety check.
Has your grill been recalled? Check SaferProducts.gov. If the grill has been recalled, contact the manufacturer and stop using it until you get a repair or replacement.
Visually inspect the hoses on a gas grill for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing and that all connections are secure. Replace if necessary.
Check for propane gas leaks. Open the gas supply valve fully and apply a soapy solution with a brush at the connection point. If bubbles appear, there is a leak. Try tightening the tank connection. If that does not stop the leak, close the gas valve and have the grill repaired by a qualified professional.
Is the grill clean? Regularly cleaning the grill, as described in the owner’s manual, and also cleaning the grease trap, will reduce the risk of flare-ups and grease fires.
Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission.