School’s almost out, Memorial day is around the corner, Fire up the Grills!
The Kingsport Fire Department wants you to have a safe grilling season and summer break. Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association:
General grilling tips
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- 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.
Before you use your gas grill:
- Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
- Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
- Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
- Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
- If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
- If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
- If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.
When the grill is on:
- As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
- If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
- If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.
Charcoal Grills for cooking
There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to ignite the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel:
- If you use a charcoal chimney, use a long match to avoid burning your fingers when lighting the paper
- If you choose to use lighter fluid, use only fluid intended for charcoal grills
- Never add charcoal starter fluid to coals or kindling that has already been ignited
- Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquid except charcoal starter or lighter fluid to start a charcoal fire
- Place the grill well away from overhanging branches according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic
- Keep children and pets, and anything that can burn like food wrappers, an oven mitt or towel, at least 3-feet away from open flames and the grill
- Use long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames
- Have an adult present at all times when a campfire or grill is burning. Keep the fire small and never leave a fire unattended!
To dispose of charcoal after cooking
- Before going to sleep or leaving the area, douse the fire with water and make sure the area is cool to the touch.
- Five percent of outside or unclassified grill fires occurred in a lawn, field or open area
- Empty the coals into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used only to collect coals
- Place the container outside and away from anything that can burn
- Never empty coals directly into a trash can
- Store the charcoal starter fluid out of reach of children and away from heat source