Utica, N.Y. (WKTV) - With Memorial Day Weekend upon us, many people will be hosting backyard barbecues and using their grill for the first time this year.
That's why The Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY) reminds residents to make this summertime favorite a safe one by following some important fire safety tips.
U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues each year from 2006 - 2010.
They're serving up these tips:
Check your grill thoroughly for leaks, cracking or brittleness before using it.
Check the tubes leading to the burner regularly for blockages.
Make sure the grill is at least 10 feet away from your house, garage or trees.
Store and use your grill on a large flat surface that cannot burn (i.e.- concrete or asphalt).
Don't use grills in a garage, on a porch, deck or on top of anything that can catch on fire. Never use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof; it is both dangerous and illegal.
Keep children away from fires and grills. It is a good idea to establish a safety zone around the grill and instruct children to remain outside the zone.
Before getting a propane cylinder filled, check for any damages to it.
Never transport or store propane cylinders in the trunk of your automobile.
Keep children away from the grill.
Don't wear loose clothing that might catch fire.
Use long-handled barbecue tools and/or flame-resistant mitts.
Never use any flammable liquid other than a barbecue starter fluid to start/freshen a fire.
Never pour or squirt starter fluid onto an open flame. The flames can easily flashback along the fluid's path to the container in your hands.
Keep alcoholic beverages away from the grill, they are flammable.
Never leave the grill unattended.
When you're done:
Always shut off the propane fuel at the grill and at the bottle after you have finished barbecuing. Otherwise, this will lead to fire hazards, such as leaks and faulty regulators.
Store your BBQ grill and propane cylinder outdoors.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the safe use, cleaning and maintenance of your grill.
Test your cylinder for leaks on a regular basis. When testing for leaks, never use matches or an open flame. Use soapy water or a leak detector.
Store your cylinder away from heat and insert a safety plug on the valve.
If you start a fire:
For PROPANE grills:
- turn off the burners.
- if you can safely reach the tank valve, shut it off.
If the fire involves the tank, leave it alone, evacuate the area and call the fire department
For CHARCOAL grills
- close the grill lid.
For ELECTRIC grills:
Disconnect the power.
If there is any type of fire that either threatens your personal safety or endangers property, ALWAYS call the Fire Department.
NEVER attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water. It will only cause the flames to flare up. Use an approved portable fire extinguisher.