Part of the lifesaving work our team at the Elvis Presley Trauma Center provides is education the community about important safety information.

As the summer heats up, they’re turning their attention to backyard barbecues and grilling safety.

If you stay vigilant while grilling and follow some simple safety steps, you can stay safe and avoid property damage.

BBQ is part of life in Memphis, and summer is the most popular time to fire up the grill and enjoy good food with family and friends.

As the outdoor grilling season heats up, follow these tips from our Elvis Presley Trauma Center team to avoid injuries and property damage.

“We love our barbecue in Memphis – after all, we are the barbecue capital of the world,” said Geretta Hollins, Community Outreach and Injury Prevention Program Coordinator for Burn and Trauma Services at Regional One Health. “Now that the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest has crowned its champion, it’s time for backyard grilling to gear up!”

It’s also a time when Regional One Health’s Elvis Presley Trauma Center and Firefighters Burn Center treat more grilling-related injuries.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 53 percent of grill fires occur between the months of May and August. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that between 2017 and 2021, an average of 22,155 patients went to emergency rooms each year due to injuries involving grills.

Here are our trauma team’s suggestions for how to avoid becoming part of those statistics:

Always watch children and pets when you’re grilling, and keep them at least 3 feet away from the grill to avoid injury.

  • Place your grill well away from the home.
  • Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
  • Use propane and charcoal grills outdoors only.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup.
  • When finished grilling, let charcoal coals cool completely before disposing them in a metal container.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

“Following these tips can help you have a fun and injury-free grilling season,” Hollins said.

The Elvis Presley Trauma Center is the only Level-1 Trauma Center in a 150-mile radius of Memphis. A multispecialty team of experts is available 24/7 to treat the most critically-injured patients from Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and parts of Missouri.

Regional One Health’s Firefighters Burn Center is the only full-service burn center in a 400-mile radius of Memphis that is verified by the American Burn Association. It provides comprehensive services including emergency and critical care, intensive care, specialized burn rehabilitation, and laser and plastic surgery.

To learn more about the lifesaving care our team provides, visit and