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North Carolina principal seriously burned from propane grill at senior picnic

By LisaMarie Sinatra

Some sad news out of North Carolina. The principal at a high school in Fayetteville suffered third-degree burns recently when the propane grill he was preparing malfunctioned and caught fire hours before the school’s senior picnic.

According to WRAL.com out of Raleigh/Durham, the principal, who plans the cookout each year before graduation, was trying to light one of the propane grills at a nearby park where the party was being held and was having a problem getting it started. As he tried to light the grill, the fumes that had built up inside ignited when he opened the lid. Fortunately no one else was injured at the scene. Our thoughts are with this principal; we hope he makes a full recovery soon.

This story reminds us that during the spring and summer, cookouts and BBQs will continue to play a large role in graduation, birthday and pool parties. So before your special event, take a look at our latest grilling fire safety video. It’s short, and it addresses some of the key misconceptions of grilling including how to safely turn your grill on and off, and what to do when it doesn’t ignite properly. Think you know? Watch below. You might be surprised by what you learn:

If you own a gas grill, you might also be interested in our short video below that specifically addresses the proper way to test your grill for gas leaks before use. Watch it as a refresher before your next event.

After you’ve watched the videos and throughout the season, as you prepare to light up your grill, consider the following:

Use propane and charcoal grills outdoors only
Place the grill well away from your home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
Put safety rules for kids in place. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area
Clean your grill often, removing any grease or fat buildup from the grates and in the trays below
Stay next to your grill at all times while cooking; never leave the area unattended

For more grilling and food safety ideas, check out our cooking fire safety page and enjoy your next great meal safely with friends and family!

Source:: NFPA – Safety Information


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