(BPT) - From grilling at the park to having a bonfire in the backyard, outdoor cooking is a quintessential summer activity. While these different cooking methods produce tasty foods — from burgers to s'mores and beyond — they also can cause burns if you're not cautious. To avoid summer food-making perils for yourself and your family, it's important to learn some prevention tips.
Test your outdoor cooking and fire knowledge: Did you know?
- An average campfire will reach internal temperatures of 900 F.
- Fire pits can retain heat up to 12 hours after extinguished.
- The hottest flames are white, blue and violet in color.
- A charcoal briquette can get up to 800 F.
- Grills can stay hot for several hours after use.
These facts are all too familiar to Jess Pryles, a renowned grilling expert and social media influencer collaborating with Alocane.
"I have spent hundreds of hours around the grill, which can reach temperatures as high as 600 F, so I know it only takes a millisecond to get burned. Distractions and feeling rushed are a griller’s nemeses."
Pryles offers a few tips to prevent minor burns when grilling. Just remember the three Ps:
Plan: Schedule the needed time to grill and organize necessary utensils. That way you don't have to rush and you don't have to leave the grill to get items you forgot.
Prepare: Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency. Also, stock essential first-aid supplies, like the Alocane Emergency Burn Gel with 4% Lidocaine for maximum pain relief, plus the soothing qualities of aloe vera, in case of a minor burn.
Protect: Designate an area around the grill for children and pets to avoid. You may even add visual indicators such as cones or rocks around the grill zone. A chalk line works well, too.
If you or a family member does get a burn, you can access free help online on how to best treat it. The Ask Alocane Burn Chat will be live from May 26 to Sept. 6 for prime outdoor cooking season. The live chat service will be available daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (CST) and can be reached by visiting www.askalocane.com. Product specialists anticipate helping people with minor first- and second-degree burns. People with serious burn emergencies should always dial 911.
"We aim to provide immediate peace of mind with our live chat service," said Anne Brolly, senior vice president of product development and marketing at Quest Products Inc., makers of Alocane. "Oftentimes, a minor burn doesn't feel small and is quite painful, so a little extra guidance goes a long way."
The National Fire Protection Association reports that an average of nearly 20,000 patients per year go to emergency rooms because of grill-related injuries. July is the peak month for grill fires followed by June.
Of course, grilling isn't the only burn concern during summer. Immediately behind grill burn incidents in the summer are sunburns and firework-related injuries. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that more than one out of every three Americans reports getting sunburned each year. Further, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that on average, 243 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.