Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce: BBQ fires can turn dinner into a disaster

June 3, 2021

Fort Myers, Florida – As the summer season approaches, local fire and disaster control specialist John Ferguson from SERVPRO® in Bonita Springs / Estero knows that the number of barbecues will increase and will peak in July. “Charcoal and gas grills, barbecues, and the like are involved in an average of more than 5,000 building fires and nearly 5,000 additional outdoor fires each year,” Ferguson said. In addition, according to Ferguson, barbecue accidents resulted in 19,700 hospital stays annually. Burns from burns make up 9,500 of these visits, and children under the age of five make up an average of 2,000, or 39 percent of these burns

Ferguson knows families can take steps to keep their homes safe and families safe from harm while still enjoying home-cooked summer meals.

Before grilling:

  • READY: Clean the grill racks and fat trays. On gas grills, check the gas tank hose for leaks at the beginning of the season.
  • SET: Choose a safe, firm, level place for the grill, away from cool boxes, running children and pets, and mingling guests. Grill outside, never in a garage or under the awning on a deck, the eaves of your home, or low hanging branches.
  • GO: Prepare the grill carefully for grilling. For charcoal grills, use a charcoal fireplace with newspaper, a charcoal starter fluid, or an electric charcoal starter attached to an outdoor extension cord. On gas grills, open the lid before turning on the grill. Do not try to move the grill if you smell gas after lighting it. Get away from the grill and call the fire department.


While you are grilling:

SAFE AREA: Keep children and pets at least three feet from the hot grill, both during grilling and after serving. Grill surfaces can stay hot for an hour or more.

SAFE TOOLS: Use long handled barbecue utensils in good condition; avoid loose, flowing clothing; and wear flame retardant gloves to adjust the vents to avoid burns.

SAFE COOKING: Keep the fire under control. Manage the flare up by adjusting the grill height, using the grill controls, or spreading the charcoal bed. Keep baking soda within easy reach to control fat burns. Watch out for embers and have a fire extinguisher, garden hose, or bucket of sand handy to put out spark-ignited fires. Never try to move a hot grill.


“House fires can be both financially and emotionally devastating, as smoke and water damage often worsens the destruction of both the building and its contents,” says Ferguson. “Although our SERVPRO-trained professionals are here to help you recover like it never happened” when you experience a building fire, we believe prevention is better than cure. Fires and burns caused by barbecues are not summer Almost half of home barbecues use their barbecues year round, so it’s important to keep these safety guidelines in mind year round. “

SERVPRO specializes in fire and water purification and restoration services, as well as repair services, helping repair damage for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO® from Bonita Springs / Estero, contact John Ferguson at (239)791-8892 or Further information on SERVPRO can be found at

Established in 1967, SERVPRO is a leader and provider of fire and water purification and restoration services, mold control and biological hazard remediation. SERVPRO’s professional service network, made up of more than 1,900 of its own franchise companies, reacts to property damage ranging from small individual disasters to major loss events worth several million dollars. The SERVPRO® system provides coverage in the United States and Canada and has developed relationships with major insurance companies and commercial customers as well as individual homeowners.

This press release was prepared by the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. The views expressed are one’s own.

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