Fire officials offer grilling safety tips

July 2, 2014

By Staff

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An estimated 5,700 grill fires at residential properties occurred annually in the United States between 2006 and 2008, fire officials said in a news release. Over half of those fires occurred in May, June, July and August.

Follow these safety tips before firing up the grill this summer:

Propane grills

Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose to check for bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soap bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. It is time to have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.

Charcoal grills

There are several ways to get charcoal ready to use. Use only charcoal starter fluid. Be sure to keep charcoal fluid out of reach of children and away from any heat source.

There are also electric charcoal starters that do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use. When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing of in a metal container.

Propane and charcoal barbecue grills should only be used outdoors, placed away from the home and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Keep children and pets away from the grill area, and never leave your grill unattended.

Keeping your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup can also help make your grilling experience safe.

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