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Posted on: June 29, 2017

Grill Safely All Year Round

Gas grilling

Although July is the peak month for grill fires, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) barbecue fires can occur any time of year. The Agency’s 2016 report determined, on average, 8,900 home fires are started by grills annually. Backyard summer activities and pool parties often include firing up the old grill. Lush green lawns and patios will quickly become a disaster area if proper fire safety practices aren’t observed.

Ten steps to safely grilling with gas tanks:

  • Propane grills and accessories should be on a flat surface at least 10 feet away from the house, deck railings, out from under eaves and hanging branches
  • Never leave the grill unattended
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill and propane tank
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case
  • Check the propane tank and hose for leaks before use
  • If you smell gas when using the grill, turn the tank and burners off. If the leak stops, have the tank and hose serviced by a professional. If the smell doesn’t go away, contact the fire department.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing when grilling
  • Ignite the gas grill with the top open
  • If the grill catches on fire, close the lid, turn the propane tank off and move away from the grill.
  • Clean grills often to prevent grease buildup

Watch these short videos to insure a safer cookout experience this Independence Day and throughout the year:

Safe Food Prep and Handling

If you or your food is left out in the heat too long without protection, no one will be happy. Commit to grilling properly, keeping food on ice, and wearing sunscreen and insect repellent. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a few safety tips for properly grilling your ribs, burgers, corn on the cobb and anything else you throw on the fire. There are four basic messages, CLEAN, SEPARATE, COOK and CHILL to eliminate the growth and spread of bacteria when grilling outdoors. This video (in English and Spanish) sheds light on simple dos and don’ts:

USDA Grilling Food Video

USDA Grilling Food video (en Espanol)

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