Hosting An Injury-Free Summer Cookout

What does summer smell like to you? For many people, this time of year is associated with the smoky, mouthwatering aroma of hotdogs and burgers sizzling on the grill during a backyard barbecue. Pair this smell with good friends, a few cold drinks, and maybe even some sweet s’mores and you have the setting for an ideal summer night!

Pair these things with negligence or recklessness, though, and your evening might not go as smoothly. In fact, 16,900 people visited emergency rooms in 2012 due to grilling accidents, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Furthermore, the United States Fire Administration adds that about 5,700 grill fires take place every year, causing an average of 100 injuries, 10 deaths, and $37 million in damage.

Common Grilling Injuries

During a cookout, there are many factors that could cause personal injuries, from lighter fluid to sharp knives to jalapeno juices. Some common grilling injuries include:

  • Flash burns
  • Corneal burns
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Cuts and lacerations from knives, kebab skewers, or other utensils
  • Choking
  • Eye damage from foreign substances, like jalapeno or lime juice

Most grilling injuries are not fatal, but can be incredibly painful, and lead to long-term effects like blistering or scarring. Some grilling injuries can be treated at home, while others might require stitches or other professional medical attention.

Fire Hazards

Fires, on the other hand, can quickly spread, leading to massive property damage or loss of life. To prevent a fire, preparation and awareness is vital. The grill should be cleaned off before use, with special attention paid to the drip pan and grid, where grease and leftover bits of meat or vegetables from your last cookout can build up. While cooking, keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and stay alert — have that refreshing beer afterwards, but not while you’re grilling. Never leave the grill unattended.

Sometimes, injuries can occur through product defects rather than human error or negligence. If a defective product contributes to your grilling injuries, a company or store might be liable. Similarly, if you are injured by someone else’s negligence, they may also be liable for your injuries or lost property.

Hopefully, injuries and liability are not something you need to worry about at your next cookout! Keep safety in mind, and you can throw a cookout that everyone will be talking about all summer long.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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