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Safe Summer Grilling Tips

Outdoor grilling is popular throughout the year, but especially during the summer. The Garland Fire Department reminds everyone to be careful around the grill to prevent fires, burns, and property damage.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says fire departments respond to an estimated 8,600 home fires each year involving grills, hibachis or barbecues.  Leaks or breaks were the leading cause of grill fires and a particular problem with gas grills. Other leading factors were using the grill too close to something that could catch fire, not cleaning the grill, and leaving the grill unattended.

Here are some important safe grilling tips:

  • Grill outside only; never use a grill on a balcony.
  • Clean the grill regularly to remove grease or fat buildup in the trays underneath.
  • Always use the grill in an open space, away from anything that might catch fire, including siding, deck railings, eaves, or tree branches.
  • Keep the grill away from play areas or places with high foot traffic.
  • Never leave a lit grill unattended.
  • Using long-handled cooking utensils will help prevent burns.

Each year, check your propane cylinder hose for leaks. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. Bubbles will reveal escaping propane. If a leak is suspected, turn off the tank and the grill.  If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department.

For charcoal grills, store starter fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. Remember to: 

  • Never add charcoal starter fluid to coals or kindling that are already ignited.
  • Allow charcoals to cool before disposing in a metal container.

Follow a few simple tips and you’ll be on your way to safer grilling! For more fire safety information visit http://www.nfpa.org/education.