Monthly Archives: May 2019

By Kathy Huston

May is National Barbecue Month, and as you compile your patio playlist (“Summertime,” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince is always a must), make sure you’re putting grilling safety on the front burner. Here are a few tips.

  • Think about where you grill—that is, well away from your house or other structures. While this advice may seem obvious, some never got that memo: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that an average of 10,200 home fires are started by grills each year, causing millions in property damage. Even more alarming: 19,000 people a year seek ER treatment because of injuries involving grills, including 9,300 thermal burns.
  • If you grill with gas, regularly check the hose and connections for cracks and leaks. (Use the “soapy bubble test”: Brush on a soap-and-water solution, turn on the gas, and look for the telltale bubbles.) This is especially important after a grill has been in storage.
  • Never leave the grill unsupervised, and keep kids and pets at a safe distance. The NFPA reports that between 2012 and 2016, children under age 5 accounted for about a third of contact burns requiring emergency room treatment.
  • After every grilling session, turn the tank off, let everything cool down, and then clean the grates of fat and food remnants for next time. The NFPA notes that one out of every five grill fires are caused by starting up a dirty grill.
  • If you’re using a charcoal, never squirt additional lighter fluid onto coals that are already burning. Dispose of spent coals properly and safely in a metal container.
  • Invest in a meat thermometer. According to, the correct internal temperature for cooked chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

With safety on your side, have a fun and flavorful Barbecue Month and beyond!

Sidebar: BBQ by the Numbers

  • Seven in 10 U.S. adults own a grill or smoker
  • Gas is the most popular grill type (64%), followed by charcoal (44%) and electric (9%).
  • Memorial Day and July 4 remain top grilling days.

Source: State of the Barbecue Industry Survey

By: Sophie Kluthe

It was high fives all around on Tuesday as a group of about 75 first grade students from New Foundations Charter School visited the Red Cross House in Philadelphia bearing gifts. 

The Red Cross House is a disaster recovery center that provides housing and ongoing support to help local and regional victims of home fires and other unforeseen disasters. Some of the residents arrive with little more than the clothes they were wearing when they were forced out of their home.

That’s why the students’ donations of hygiene kits, blankets, and cloth dolls brought smiles to the faces of the families who graciously accepted them. The New Foundations students also presented hand-made cards bursting with bright colors and well-wishes.

As part of the visit, the students got to meet the Red Cross mascot, Fred Cross, take a tour of the Red Cross House and learn about all the things the organization does to support the community. Before heading back to school, each student was given a disaster preparedness activity book to take home. Hopefully each student will pass along a meaningful lesson about planning and preparedness to their families. The partnership is extra special because this trip has become an annual tradition for first graders at this school.

Thank you New Foundations Charter School for your generous donations and for giving us the opportunity to show you the Red Cross House!