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Grill Safely this Summer

july_article2Whether you like burgers and dogs, barbecue chicken or even grilled veggies, please remember to grill safely!

Safety Tips

  • Always read the owner’s manual before using the grill. Don’t assume a new grill works the way your old one did!
  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors
  • Place the grill well away from your home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
  • Never attempt to move a hot grill
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill
  • Never leave your grill unattended once it is lit

Propane Grills

While all grills can be dangerous, propane grills account for the majority of home fires. Be sure to check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.

If you notice your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.

If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

Charcoal Grills

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • If you use an electric charcoal starter, be sure to use an extension cord designed for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Grilling can be fun, but use common sense and always remember to follow local ordinances and rules set forth by your home owner’s association or property manager. For example, most local fire codes prohibit grilling on a balcony. A Pennsylvania man found out firsthand what happens when you don’t follow the rules. An insurance company filed a lawsuit seeking more than $1.2 million in damages after he started a massive fire while grilling at his apartment complex.