Tips for safer grilling this summer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tips for safer grilling this summer

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TRI-CITIES, WA - Outdoor grilling is popular throughout the year. Whether you use a charcoal or propane grill, it’s important to be careful around the grill to prevent fires, burns, and property damage.

On average, according to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to an estimated 8,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues. Leaks or breaks were the leading cause of grill fires and a particular problem with gas grills. Other leading factors were using the grill too close to something that could catch fire, not cleaning the grill, and leaving the grill unattended.

The local Tri-Cities Fire Departments do respond to fires every year that are caused by outdoor cooking.  

The Pasco Fire Department is working to reduce the number of grill-related fires and burns in Pasco. Do your part by following these safe grilling tips:

•     Use your grill outside only. Never use a grill on a balcony.

•     Periodically clean the grill to remove grease or fat buildup in the trays underneath.

•     When your grill is in use, it should be kept in an open space, away from anything that might catch fire, including siding, deck railings, eaves, or tree branches.

•     Keep your grill away from play areas or places with high foot traffic.

•     Never leave a lit grill unattended.

•     Using long-handled cooking utensils will help prevent burns.

•     Each year, check your propane cylinder hose for leaks. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. Bubbles will reveal escaping propane.

•     If you suspect your grill has a leak, through the bubble test or by smell, and there is no flame:

o        Turn the tank and the grill off.

o        If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.

o        If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department.

•     If you use a charcoal grill, be sure to store starter fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.

•     Never add charcoal starter fluid to coals or kindling that you’ve already ignited.

•     Allow charcoals to cool before disposing in a metal container.

Follow a few simple tips and you’ll be on your way to safer grilling!