Memorial Day is almost upon us and that means many people will be grilling over the holiday weekend. Every year millions of people enjoy outdoor barbecues but it's important to do it safely.
The National Fire Protection Association statistics show grill fires cause over $100 million dollars in property damage a year.
A few simple safety measures used when cooking can help keep you safe. Fire officials say keeping grills away from small enclosed spaces is key.
“Especially at apartment complexes where they just have a small area or small patio. You want to make sure you're not underneath the eve of your house or the cover of your patio in case it does get out of control. You don't want it to get up in those areas."
The grill should be moved 6 to 10 feet away from anything combustible. Holiday grillers want to be careful cooking with charcoal. The charcoal can give off deadly carbon monoxide.
“You want to be in an open area. You don't want to be in a garage or a shed because then
carbon monoxide will build up and be dangerous.”
Red Cross officials say having the proper tools to cook with can prevent serious injury.
“Use a barbecue grill set with the longer handle so you don’t get burned. If someone does get burned go to the app store and download the Red Cross first aid app and it will tell you exactly how to treat that burn.”
Many residents enjoy our local parks and use public hibachis to grill. Fire officials want to make sure it's done as safely as possible.
“It's always smart when you're grilling to always stay by the grill. Keep an eye out for the grease to flare up. Make sure if you're using charcoal you don't let any embers leave the grill and jump into any grass nearby or some debris that's built up.”
There are also a few park guidelines for cooking and charcoal disposal. People are being asked to cook using an approved container and to put a grate over the top to keep everything safe.
Fire officials stress that if you're using a public hibachi at the park to take the charcoal with you after you've dosed them with water. They don't want anyone putting the charcoal in the trash can where it can set fire.
Make sure children and pets are kept well away from the cooking area. Thinking about what could happen can help us keep these safety tips in mind when manning the grill.
The leading causes of grill fires are a failure to clean the grill, having the grill too close to something that can catch fire and leaving the grill unattended.