Each year, there are about 20 deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning and more than 300 emergency room treated injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from charcoal grills. Charcoal produces carbon monoxide -- a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments -- when burned.
To reduce these poisonings, the CPSC is offering the following safety tips:
- Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents or campers.
- Charcoal should never be used indoors, even if ventilation is provided.
- Since charcoal produces carbon monoxide, until the charcoal is completely extinguished, do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.
In addition, liquid petroleum (LP) gas or propane, used in gas grills, is extremely flammable. Each year more than 500 fires occur when people use gas grills. About 20 people are injured as a result of gas grill fires and explosions. To reduce these risks, consumers should:
- Check the tubes that lead into the burner for any blockage from insects, spiders or food grease.
- Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing,
- Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease. If you can't move the hoses, install a heat shield to protect them.
- Never use a grill indoors. Instead, use the grill at least 10 feet away from any building and do not use the grill in a garage, carport, porch or under a surface that can catch fire.
- When lighting the grill, keep the top open. If the grill does not light in several attempts, wait five minutes to allow gas to dissipate.
Consumer Product Safety Commission press release http://www.cpsc.gov