State Fire Marshal offers grilling safety tips ahead of Memorial Day

With Memorial Day approaching and grilling weather about to be in full swing, the state’s fire marshal is offering tips and suggestions to remind people how to use their grills safely.

“Memorial Day is the traditional launch of the summer barbecue season,” said Peter Ostroskey. “Take a few minutes for safety and inspect grills for leaks and cracks, and teach children to stay three feet away from any grill in use.”

Between in the past four years there have been more than 400 fires reported that have involved grills, hibachis, and barbecues. All told, these fires totaled roughly $3.5 million in property damage.

Ostroskey says that many of the fires started because the grill was placed directly against an exterior wall.

Among some of the tips that Ostroskey recommends:

  • Read and follow the owner’s manual.
  • Always grill outdoors.
  • Place grills away from the house and deck railings (about ten feet). Make sure they are not under eaves, overhanging branches or against the side of the building.
  • A gas or charcoal grill should not be used on any porch or balcony. Electric grills that have no open flame may be used.
  • Gas grills can be used on first floor open decks or patios if there is an exterior stairway to the ground, or it is at ground level.
  • Grills should never be used indoors or on fire escapes.
  • Keep children and pets three feet away from the grill area. Create a circle of safety.
  • Never leave a grill burning unattended.
  • Keep the grill clean by removing grease or fat build-up from the grills and trays below the grill.
  • 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 15 minutes before relighting.
  • Never use gasoline on any grill

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