Many people in Texoma are celebrating the unofficial end to the summer with a farewell barbeque. But before you light up the grill... be careful!
Nearly 8,000 home fires a year involve grills or hibachis, causing roughly $80 million a year in damage.
Roughly 120 people a year are injured simply while grilling out. Yet, having a good time doesn't have to come at a cost, as long as you are careful.
"This labor day, I'm going to go out to the lake with a bunch of my buddies, and take my BBQ out there," says one excited shopper, "And do some grilling and get some good beer battered hot links and all that."
While that may sound like the perfect so-long to summer, grilling can be dangerous.
According to Richard Pacheco, one of the Department Manager's at Lowe's, grills, "can combust, explode, and be a hazard to whomever is nearby."
So, to make sure that your family is safe, here are some safety tips. For gas grills, check grill hoses for cracking and leaks. According to Pacheco, the hoses can easily be replaced. Also, always keep propane gas containers upright and never store or use flammable liquids near the grill.
"Don't use lave rock or bricketts in grills that don't call for it," says Pacheco, "And never use charcoal in a gas grill. It actually causes a bigger change of flare ups and you want to be careful of that when you are cooking and all of a sudden boom, you've got some singed eyebrows."
Charcoal grills have a different set of safety tips. Charcoal produces carbon monoxide when it is burned and the monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be toxic in closed environments.
Pacheco warns, "you've got to be really careful with charcoal."
Especially when using lighter fluid. Many bricketts are pre-soaked with a flammable coating and don't need the extra fluid. But no matter the charcoal, do not light an already open flame.
"A lot of people say, oh that flame is getting low and they want to get that lighter fluid can and shoot some more on it--not a good idea! Explains Pacheco, "it could lead to possible injury and even death."
The most important tip of all is to be aware and alert.
"The biggest thing and I can't say it enough, is don't leave the food or grill unattended, especially if you have kids," says Pacheco.
If kids are going to be around a barbeque, teach them about the importance of fire safety.
And if you are grilling with gas, make sure that you have a bag of flour handy...just in case of a fire.
For all those grilling enthusiasts, labor day isn't the end to the grilling season. Experts at Lowe's tell Newschannel 6 that grilling in Texoma lasts all year long.