Each year, there are about 20 deaths from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and about 400 emergency room treated injuries from CO poisoning resulting from charcoal grills. Charcoal produces CO when burned. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments. To reduce your chance of getting CO poisonings, follow these 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 CO fumes until the charcoal is completely extinguished, do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.
Fire safety is another concern. Follow these suggestions for stacking and lighting the coals:
- Place the grill away from the house, flammable materials, dry grass, and shrubbery. Ensure the grill is out of the wind and away from playing children and animals.
- Do not stand directly over the grill while trying to light the charcoal.
- Use charcoal lighter to start the fire. Follow the manufacturer's directions. Do NOT use GASOLINE, KEROSENE, or any other volatile fluid to ignite the fire.
- When you finish barbecuing, extinguish the coals completely. Do not leave the fire unattended at any time.