Grilling: An open source of flame

Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

DALLAS, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Grilling can provide some tasty dishes for a Super Bowl party, but it also can cause unexpected burns, scalding and fires, a U.S. physician says.

"When you're smelling the barbecue, it's easy to forget that grills -- both gas and charcoal -- are still an open source of flame and a potential danger," Dr. Brett Arnoldo, a burn surgeon at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said in a statement.

Arnoldo and his colleagues say:

-- Don't pour water directly on coals. Beware of steam that can rise up unexpectedly and scald.

-- Use baking powder to help contain grease fires. Always have an extinguisher nearby in case flames get out of control or something catches fire.

-- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and pets and away from any source of heat, including grills, fire pits and chimneys.

-- Never leave a lit grill unattended. Children and pets should remain at least 3 feet from a grill to help avoid burns or accidentally knocking over the grill.

-- Don't lean directly over the grill. Be aware of clothing such as scarves, shirt tails or apron strings that can catch fire when bending over. Consider flame-retardant oven mitts and long utensils to avoid burns.

-- Never try to move a hot grill. Wait for coals to cool off before disposing.

Burning charcoal produces carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas so never burn charcoal indoors or in tents, RVs, campers or other enclosed spaces, Arnoldo said.

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