LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Every year, thousands of homes are damaged by fires that are started by grills, and officials are urging people to keep safety precautions in mind.

The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation says nearly seven out of every 10 adults in the country owns a grill or smoker.

And during the summer months, when more people grill out, the number of home fires and related injuries rises.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 10,600 homes fires are caused by grills annually.

The NFPA urges people to make sure their grill is not near anything that could catch fire, so keep them well away from homes and deck railings as well as out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

“Be cognizant of carbon monoxide with charcoal, pellet, wood and propane grills, and always be cautious of hot surfaces, especially with young children around, as the exteriors of the grill can become extremely hot,” said C.T. Thiemann, the president of the Louisa County Farm Bureau.

A release says that between 2014 and 2018, there were an average of 19,700 patients who visited an emergency room for injuries involving grills each year. Of those, children under the age of five accounted for 39 percent of contact-type burns.

NFPA says children and pets should be kept at least three feet away from the grill area.

Additionally, users of propane grills need to check their gas tank hose for any leaks before using it for the first time each year. Applying a soap and water mixture will highlight any leaks because the gas will cause bubbles.

Cleaning any grease or fat buildup from grates and trays is also important in order to prevent fire or foodborne illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cases of food poisoning peak during the summer months.

Regarding meats that will be grilled, users need to wash their hands before handling raw products and keep meat refrigerated until the grill is ready.

Each type of meat has a different safe internal temperature which means it is cooked and ready to eat, so using a food thermometer to check for that is important.

“This doesn't mean you can't enjoy your hamburger or steak with some red to pink in it. Just be sure you know the safe temperatures for each type of meat,” Thiemann said.

For example, whole cuts of meat should be cooked to a minimum temperature of 145° with a three-minute rest time before serving.

Fish is also cooked to 145° while hamburgers and other ground meats as well as egg dishes need to be cooked to 160° and poultry should be cooked to 165°.

Regarding having food sitting out, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says perishable food should be eaten or refrigerated within two hours unless outdoor temperatures are 90° or above, and then that needs to be within one hour.

“Being mindful of these few things will definitely help ensure your summer gatherings are fun, tasty and safe for all activities,” Thiemann said.

People who have questions about food safety can contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at (888) 674-6854 or can chat live with someone online between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.