A backyard barbeque brought in some unintended guests when emergency personnel responded to a small explosion and patio fire at a home in Hialeah Gardens. Four men were airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center after a custom-built brick oven exploded during the 4th of July celebration.
Only one man was reported to be in critical condition after the accident, likely suffering burns and other injuries from flying pieces of the oven. According to authorities, a leak in the gas tank used to power the brick oven caused the explosion.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that, in 2009, as many as 18,000 people were treated in emergency rooms across the United States for burns and other injuries traceable to a backyard bbq gone wrong. While grills may be a staple in backyards throughout Florida, they certainly aren't the safest piece of equipment to have in your backyard.
Discovery Health offers five tips to improve safety for girllers and party-goers who are cooking out during the summer months:
- Don't mix fire with alcohol. If you're drinking, have someone else handle the grilling. As many as 95 percent of grill-related injuries involve some alcohol consumption.
- Don't get distracted. It seems simple enough, but keep an eye on what you're grilling and who is around the grill surface. Often the meats thrown on the grill can be a fuel for the flames that can get out of control as fats and greases leak onto burners.
- Don't grill indoors. If it's raining or if you're in colder temperatures, it may be tempting to fire up the grill in the garage or in an enclosed patio. Don't do it.
- Propane leaks can fuel fires. A grill fire fed by propane won't be easily put out by water. The fire's fuel source must be capped off or exhausted.
- Make sure to put the grill out after you're done. Just like when finishing a campfire, make sure that the grill is no longer smoldering when you're done. A fire can reignite given the right conditions if hot coals are still active.
If you are hosting a barbeque or grill-out, be sure that you keep the safety of your guests in mind at all times. A serious injury caused by a grilling mistake can quickly turn into a premises liability lawsuit.
Source: Miami Herald, "Four injured in Hialeah Gardens BBQ explosion," July 5, 2013