Grill safely with these guidelines

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 3:45 PM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 4:34 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - While there’s nothing like a summertime cookout, more than 10,000 home fires are started by grills every year. That’s according to the National Fire Protection Association.

This can quickly spread to a wooden deck and home within seconds. Here are a few guidelines to keep your family safe.

First things first, give your grill a full inspection beforehand:

  • If your grill uses propane and you plan on using it this weekend, you still have a few days to check if your line has any leaks.
  • An easy way to do that is to get a soapy water solution and apply it to the line. If you see any bubbles, that means there’s a leak, and you should get that checked out and serviced by a professional before you start grilling.

Secondly, make sure your grill is in a safe location, at least three feet from deck railings and homes, including the eaves:

  • “A lot of that seems pretty like a simple idea and thought, but a lot of people use a grass grill indoors. They might use it like an enclosed deck, but that’s not a good idea. Stay away from your house, underneath the eaves of the house, away from any low-hanging branches,” explained Captain Nathan Lander with the Battlefield Fire Protection District.

Start your grill safely, and don’t rush it!

  • Gas grills must be started with the lid open to avoid an explosion.
  • If your gas grill does not start within 10 seconds or the flame goes out, wait five minutes before trying again.
  • On a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid BEFORE igniting.

Clean your grill after each use.

  • Cleaning a gas grill after every use prevents fat and grease from accumulating, fueling the fire.

Designate one person to monitor the grill and remove distractions consistently.

  • Never leave a grill unattended, and make sure children and pets keep a safe distance from the grill.
  • Drinking is commonly paired with grilling during holiday weekends especially. Lander says whoever is responsible for grilling should take it easy for the grilling duration.
  • “Make sure the person who was in charge that maybe they’re staying sober and so that way they’re mindful and can we keep an eye on the grill and the things that activity is going on around and kind of keep us safe area,” Captain Lander said.

If a fire starts, don’t panic.

  • Keep an extinguisher nearby in case a fire starts. You’d rather have a spoiled steak than your home on fire.
  • Immediately call 911 and move everyone away from the fire or anything that could catch fire.
  • Do not touch the grill or try to move it away. Metal objects become extremely hot quickly when in flames.
  • If you ever smell gas when cooking on a gas-powered grill, immediately move away from the grill and call 911.

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