Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Don't Set Fire to Yourself or Your House: Good Advice from the NFPA

If you've read the "Extreme Safety: Above and Beyond the Call of Reason" page on Easy Griller, you know that I'm not a particularly jittery advocate of safety.

I think that's partly because I remember a world where transparent jars of peanuts didn't have a 'warning - contain peanuts' label. Growing up next door to regions where being stupid sometimes resulted in your body being recovered next spring may have contributed.

Given the legal and cultural system that makes it necessary for manufacturers to warn people that a see-through jar of peanuts, labeled "PEANUTS," contains peanuts, I didn't know what to expect from an outfit with "protection" in its name.

I was pleasantly surprised at "Grilling" (NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)). The page has some common-sense "safety tips" about how to use propane and charcoal BBQ grills without setting fire to yourself or your house.

There's a collection of "Facts & Figures" that shows why being careful with grills - particularly the ones that use liquid propane - is important. ("...Although gas grills are used roughly 1.5 times as often as charcoal grills, they were involved in five times as many fires...."

NFPA's page has links to audio recordings, and (in principle) a video about grilling safety. In practice, if you start at NFPA's page, you'll drop into the second of two videos.

I figured, if there's a video #2, there was probably a video #1. And, sure enough, there is. I put both of them here, from NFPA's YouTube account.

Together, they take less than six minutes to view, and have some pretty good, common-sense advice, like:
"...If you see a white fog, or smell gas, it's a sign of a leak. It's very unlikely, but if it should happen, just call your local fire department for help...."

"...Now, grills are not inherently dangerous, but any time you work with fire, there are risks...."
The second video discusses some safety aspects of charcoal grills. And, gave a good reason for keeping high-velocity kids and grills away from each other. Emergency rooms report that children younger than five account for about a quarter of burns from hot grills.

Finally, the NFPA videos give the viewer credit for some sense. Not once does NFPA's Principal Gas Engineer, Ted Lemoff, say 'don't pour gasoline on a burning grill.'

"Grilling Safety Tips - Part 1"

nfpadotorg, YouTube (June 01, 2009)
video 2:52

"Grilling Safety Tips - Part 2"

nfpadotorg, YouTube (May 22, 2009)
video 2:58

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