Summer Grilling Season is Here – Be Safe!

With the Summer finally in full swing, and with the long July 4th Holiday Weekend less than a week away ,now is the time to think about safety at everyone’s favorite activity – the backyard BBQ.

We all love a great BBQ! Outdoor cooking has become a summer staple in across the nation.  This seemingly easy method of cooking, however, can sometimes lead to a tragic event. Unfortunately, every Summer scores of people are injured, due to grilling accidents.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are thousands of barbecue related fires every Summer resulting in millions of dollars in property damage.

Moreover, each year thousands of people are hospitalized with burn injuries resulting from a grilling accident. While the majority of these injuries were not life-threatening, some did result in fatalities.  The leading causes of most grilling related accidents happen as a result of the following:

  • Fuel line gas leaks;
  • Leaking propane tanks;
  • Failing to properly set up the grill;
  • Failing to turn off propane or gas;
  • Leaving cooking spray close in proximity to the hot grill;
  • Improper cleaning;
  • Using a charcoal grill that causes carbon monoxide poisoning;
  • Improperly lighting or relighting charcoal with lighter fluid.

Below are some safety tips for grilling this season:

  • Place the BBQ or smoker in an open space away from the house;
  • Do not allow children near the BBQ or smoker;
  • Do not consume alcohol or take drugs while using a BBQ;
  • Do not leave a BBQ unattended;
  • Check the gas lines for any leaks or kinks in the hose;
  • Make sure the grill is off and the gas is disconnected when done cooking;
  • Properly store and dispose of all gas tanks and charcoal; and
  • Always have a fire extinguisher on hand;
  • In the event of a fire, immediately call 911 and render emergency medical attention to any injured party.

If a BBQ or meat smoker accident occurs, due to a defective grill or smoker that resulted in injuries or damages, you may be able to pursue a product liability claim. To be successful with a product liability claim in New York State, a person must prove the following elements:

  • An injury or loss occurred;
  • The product was defective, due to a manufacturing error, design defect, or a failure to warn the consumer;
  • The defective product ultimately caused the injury; and
  • The product was used in accordance with its intended use.

Summer cookouts are meant to be a happy time spent with family and friends. They, unfortunately, can sometimes lead to an untimely accident.  If you have been injured by defective product or through someone else’s negligence, it is of the utmost importance to contact a reputable personal injury attorney. The lawyers at Cheriff & Fink, P.C. have represented a wide range of clients in personal injury matters related to dangerous or malfunctioning products. Call or email if you have any questions.