FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: DAD, THE BURGERS ARE BURNING, AND SO IS THE HOUSE!

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“July has been dedicated National Grilling Safety Month…”

July 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Dad, the burgers are burning, and so is the house!” Not something one wants to hear. While gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires than their charcoal counterparts, all grills pose a risk for fires and burns, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

Firefighters respond to multiple structure fires this time of year that involve barbeques in courtyards, terraces, patios and decks. Grills should be placed well away from the home and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. If there is a fire involving grilling equipment, any fuel for the fire should not be near the home or any other structure.

Some other grilling safety tips from the NFPA:

  • Propane and char grills should only be used outdoors.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet 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.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before igniting it.
  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department.
  • Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.

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. There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use. When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

For more information, visit http://www.nfpa.org/grilling or contact your local fire department!

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

*Note: The information in this article was compiled from various sources. These suggestions are not a complete list of every preventative or loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace additional safety manuals or the advice of another qualified professional(s). We make no guarantee of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.