The smell of barbecue will soon fill the air this Memorial Day. But don't let the sizzle get out of control. The Wichita Falls Fire Department receives an increase of calls from frantic barbequers each year for fires started by grills. The grill can be a dangerous fire hazard if proper precautions are not taken.
"There is a greater number of calls with it being Memorial Day. People are out celebrating and they all want to have a cook out", says firefighter Blake Haisten.
In order to prevent causing fires, Texomans should never leave their grill unattended. Cooking your food outdoors instead of inside your home is much safer and can significantly lower your chances of starting a fire. If you're barbecuing on a charcoal grill, make sure you are in an open area where there are no tree branches or flammable material around.
More than one quarter of home structure fires involve grills. When lighting your grill, never use gasoline, kerosene or other highly volatile fluids as a starter which can cause an explosion.
Children and pets also need to be supervised and kept at least 3 feet away from a hot grill. As for the chef, using long handled tools can help prevent burns from happening. In order to celebrate Memorial Day safely, firefighters recommend staying alert and making good decisions.
Haisten says, "Just stay safe. Make sure to keep your grill under control and make sure it's in a good spot in a good location. Just be smart."