Explosions And Structure Collapse: A Guide To Avoiding Strange Barbecue Injuries

Backyard barbecues are great fun for all ages--until the deck literally collapses around you, or you swallow a wire grill brush bristle, or the gas grill explodes. If you're attending or hosting any backyard barbecues this summer, familiarize yourself with this strange list of unusual problems that people encounter at these events. Knowing how to avoid these problems can help you avoid tragedy.

Deck Collapse

Americans love their decks--and they have for many decades. The Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers reports that there are over 40 million decks in the country that are over 20 years old. It should come as no surprise then that at least 30 people died in deck collapse accidents between 2000 and 2008. Deck collapse can occur for a variety of reasons, including deck construction that conforms to outdated building codes, a failure to bolt the deck to the house, inability to sustain high winds and more.

  • How you can avoid deck collapse: There are a number of investigations that you would have to perform to find out for sure if a deck is secure and stable, but one small way that you can test a deck for structural integrity is to stand with your hands on the railing and throw your weight from side to side. If the deck sways, it's unsafe and you should stay off. 

Grill Explosions

Nearly 9,000 home fires every year are caused by grills, and over half of the injuries from grills are burns. One of the big threats? Propane explosions. It happens something like this: you start up the gas tank with the lid down and gas begins to build up inside the grill. You dig around for the lighter button for a little while and then...well, you can imagine. The gas buildup inside the grill can cause a shocking explosion once it's finally lit. 

  • How you can avoid a propane explosion: If you're grilling the food, start the gas while the cover is open. If you're in the vicinity of someone running a propane tank with the grill lid closed, stand back.  

Grill Brush Pieces Causing Internal Injuries

In a 1 year time span between 2011 and 2012, 6 people reported injuries at the Providence, Rhode Island Hospital where they had swallowed bits of wire grill brushes used to clean the griddle. These injuries ranged in severity and resulted in at least one emergency surgery. 

  • How you can avoid swallowing bits of a grill brush: Chew your food well and study your food carefully before ingesting it. If you're visiting someone else's house, find out how they clean their grill, and eat with great care if they use a wire brush. If you're barbecuing at home, use a soft cloth to clean your grill. 

Hopefully you'll stay safe and enjoy yourself at numerous barbecues this summer. However, if you do become injured at a party, you may have a case. Personal injury attorneys can help. Contact a lawyer like those at Bangel, Bangel, & Bangel for a consultation.